On A.I.R. Episode 3: You Write When You Write – Martha Worthley and Natalie Goldberg in Conversation

Former Residency and Youth Programs Manager Martha Worthley catches up with Natalie Goldberg, renowned author and Centrum Artist Resident alum. The two acquaintances reminisce about Goldberg’s first experience at Centrum, her writing and painting philosophies, Zen practice, living with cancer, and the importance of her teaching practice. Worthley shares her own experience of reading Natalie’s work as it relates to her artistic practice and her time at Centrum and at the closing, Natalie treats the listeners to a reading from her upcoming book on Haiku 

Martha Worthley is a visual artist and arts educator. As a visiting artist in the schools, she worked with the Port Townsend School District to increase its capacity to provide sequential arts education for grades K-6. She also taught in intensive programs for high school students in the arts through Centrum in Port Townsend. While maintaining a studio practice, Martha spent 7 years as arts editor of the local newspaper, spent a year in Mexico teaching 530 elementary students at the American School of Guadalajara, and then returned home to run Centrum’s arts and education programs for youth in grades 5-12. She has shown her work regionally, and many of her images have been used for posters and festival stage backdrops. In her last few years at Centrum, Martha ran the residency program. She started the Emerging Artist Residency, and worked to improve the vitality of residencies at Centrum, serving hundreds of writers, visual artists, musicians and dancers during her time as director. She is currently working full time in her studio. 

See more of Worthley’s work on her website: http://www.marthaworthley.com/ 

Natalie Goldberg is the author of fifteen books, including Writing Down the Bones (Shambhala, 1986), which has sold over one million copies, has been translated into fourteen languages, and started a revolution in the way we practice writing in this country. 

She recently co-edited a collection of talks by revered zen teacher Katherine Thanas, The Truth of This Life (Shambhala, 2018). In her latest memoir Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home(Shambhala, 2018), she shares her experience with cancer grounded in her practice of zen and writing. Her other books include The Great Spring: Writing, Zen, and This Zigzag Life (Shambhala, 2016), the novel Banana Rose (Bantam, 1995), and the beloved Long Quiet Highway: Waking Up in America, a memoir about her zen teacher Katagiri Roshi. 

Natalie is also a prolific painter. Her book Living Color: Painting, Writing, and the Bones of Seeing (Abrams, 2014), describes painting as her second art form. Top of My Lungs (Overlook Press, 2004) contains forty poems, twenty of her paintings in color, and an essay, “How Poetry Saved My Life.” Natalie’s paintings are available to view on this website. 

For more than forty years Natalie has practiced zen and taught seminars in writing as a practice. People from around the world attend her life-changing workshops, and she has earned a reputation as a great teacher. The Oprah Winfrey Show sent a film crew to spend the day with Natalie for a segment on Spirituality that covered her writing, teaching, painting, and walking meditation. She lives in Northern New Mexico. 

Also referenced in this episode:  




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