The Mount St. Helens Field Forays are a weeklong gathering of creative writers held in conjunction with the Mount St. Helens Science Pulse, an every-five year gathering of research scientists engaged in field work on Mount St. Helens. Residency writers join ecologists on field trips to various locations on Mount St. Helens, interact informally with scientists, and focus on writing projects that embody creative responses to the volcano and the role of volcanic landscapes in the imagination and culture of the Northwest.
One of the great things about the St. Helens Field Residencies is not only the writers and scientists learning from one another how to see, but the place itself, how rich of a place it is to help explore questions like: What is destruction, resilience, healing, and how are they related? What are the ecological analogues of hope and grief? How does a cataclysm create the conditions for its own recovery? How might we do the same? What can this radically altered landscape tell us about how to understand nature and how to live our lives?