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UW’s Neltje Center Offers Master Class With Gretel Ehrlich

January 25, 2023

The University of Wyoming and its Neltje Center for Excellence in Creativity and the Arts has announced a call for writers to participate in a master class with poet and essayist Gretel Ehrlich.

Ehrlich, the author of more than 15 books as well as narrative essays, poetry, novels and stories, will host the master class at the Neltje Center in Banner. This center, located near Sheridan, is the former home of Neltje, the celebrated visual artist and philanthropist. The central theme of the experience is titled “PLACE: How landscape shapes our bodies, cultures and psyches.”

Ehrlich is the recipient of many awards and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Award, four Expedition grants from National Geographic, the Henry David Thoreau Award from PEN, the award for nonfiction from PEN West, and an award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for distinguished prose. She recently was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas. She travels widely and divides her time between ranches in Wyoming and Montana and a farm in Hawaii.

The master class will accept 10 writers arriving in Sheridan Sunday, May 14, and departing Saturday, May 20. While in Banner, the selected writers will join Ehrlich for a week of writing, discussion, workshops and readings. Using “PLACE” as a starting point, the class will explore how landscape shapes people’s bodies, cultures and psyches. All writers will have the opportunity to sign up for individual time to meet with Ehrlich to discuss their work.

Applicants each must submit a letter explaining what the writer hopes to accomplish in the class and a writing sample to the Neltje Center. The writing sample must include one of the following: a book chapter, 20 pages of prose or 10 poems. To apply, email a PDF of the letter and writing sample to by 5 p.m. MST Wednesday, Feb. 22. Ehrlich will review applications and select the students to participate in the class. Those selected will be notified via email Friday, March 10.

If selected, writers must supply their transportation to and from Sheridan and their housing there. This master class costs $2,500 for professional writers, and UW alumni and students will receive a discounted rate of $1,500.

The Gretel Ehrlich master class is one of the first featured programs for the recently announced Neltje Center for Excellence in Creativity and the Arts. The Neltje Center is an initiative within UW’s College of Arts and Sciences engaged in instruction, creative activity, research, collaboration and related service. The Neltje Center provides a platform to link higher education with the arts and humanities in one of the most scenic locations in the country.

To learn more about the Neltje Center and the Gretel Ehrlich master class, visit the Neltje Center website.

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