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Olivia Laing: The Garden Against Time

July 10 - July 31, 2024, Wednesdays, 5:00-7:00 p.m. (four sessions)
925 SW Washington Street Portland, OR 97205


“The simplest answer is that a writer who gardens is sooner or later going to write a book about the subject–I take that as inevitable,” writes Eleanor Perenyi in her forward to Green Thoughts, her collection of essays on gardening. In this course, we’ll explore literature of the garden, using Olivia Laing’s book The Garden Against Time as our core text. Laing sets out to restore her 18th century walled garden, in the process confronting ideas about paradise, accessibility, and the potential of gardens to act as sites of utopia, with all of the attendant inclusions and exclusions that word encompasses. From Milton’s Paradise Lost to Derek Jarman’s Modern Nature, Laing stitches together a study of the garden as site of creativity but also of exclusion, as Edenic vision for the future and grotesque embodiment of empire. The Garden Against Time will provide the backbone of our class. Consider it the beaten path we’ll walk down together. But we’ll take numerous branching desire paths too. In addition to Laing’s text, we’ll explore work by an array of writer-gardeners, including Perenyi, Vita Sackville-West, Jarman, Jamaica Kincaid, and others.

Access Program
We want our writing classes and Delves to be accessible to everyone, regardless of income and background. We understand that our tuition structure can present obstacles for some people. Our Access Program offers writing class and Delve tuitions at a reduced rate. Most Delves  have at least one access spot available.

Please apply here for access rate tuition. Contact Susan Moore at susan@literary-arts.org if you have questions.

Liaison position
Every in-person class and seminar at Literary Arts has one liaison position. Liaisons perform specific duties for each class meeting. If you are a liaison for a class or seminar, the full amount of your tuition is covered by Literary Arts.

Apply here for the liaison position.

Delve Cancellation Policy
If you register for a Delve and need to cancel your registration, here’s a link to our refund policy for Delves.


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The Garden Against Time
$ 170.00
9 available

Veronica Martin

Veronica Martin is a writer based in, and originally from, Portland. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Texas, where she taught creative writing and English. She has also studied journalism, French, and design writing. Her publications include poetry or prose in Fonograf Magazine, Hesperios Journal, Design Week Portland, Tin House, Domino, and Vestoj.
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