Patterson visits schools for a one-day workshop where she introduces students to the basic concept of poetry, then leads them through the process of writing a place poem about the area in which they live, highlighting the sensory details—the sights, sounds, taste, textures, and smells of their particular place. Each student will be able to produce a poem based on their experience of area campgrounds, rivers, and backyards. Patterson also talks to teachers about how selected poems can later be published by their schools or classrooms for school bookmarks, along with a selected photograph or illustration of the area.
Patterson, of Missoula, Mont., has published fiction and nonfiction in publications including Seventeen, Southwest Review and Sunset. She is the author of Montana Women Writers: A Geography of the Heart, and two children’s books on natural history. She also edited Montana Women Homesteaders: A Field of One’s Own, Border to Border: Historic Quilts and Quiltmakers of Montana, and Fra Dana: American Impressionist in the Rockies. She teaches creative writing through The University of Montana and the Missoula Writing Collaborative.