The Wall-Less Rooms Of Nature That Inspire Imagination with Patrice Vecchione

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Nature and art share the quality of perseverance and optimism. Vecchione illustrates this when she says, “Art is optimistic. No matter what emotions a piece of art may convey, art-making itself is a refusal to be plowed under by doubt, political systems, poverty or any number of other things.” She goes on to point out that nature shares those same qualities. “Determined plants push up between the slivery cracks in the concrete, making their leafy way to the light where they thrive. If nature is curtailed in one way, it does it’s best to find another. Over and over again.” She describes how the act of being in nature expanded her imagination, which made the act of doing art more meaningful. When our creative spirit is in touch with the natural world, the boundaries and walls are removed. She believes that encouraging creativity requires both structure and the freedom to imagine. As she points out, “The imagination wants to grow by its very nature and the same is true with nature. If water comes to a wall, it doesn’t pack up its bag and say forget about it. Water finds a way around. Imagination does the same thing. They’re both life sustaining, life-giving aspects of this planet.” Nature, she says, offers us a perfect place to daydream. Vecchione also explains how she and others help to preserve and care for a little bit of the earth, and how we can all do the same. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Patrice Vecchione is a poet, author, and artist. She teaches creative writing retreats, collage and poetry workshops. She has also worked with children, leading classes in poetry and the imagination in elementary, middle, and high schools.

She's the author of several books including:

To learn more about the work of Patrice Vecchione go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How does nature inspire imagination
  • How are nature and imagination alike
  • What is the difference between attention and imagination
  • What are some ways to engage with nature
  • What is a pocket park
  • How is making art similar to wandering in nature
  • How does structure impede creativity
  • How can we re-think education to allow for creativity

Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 5/12/2015   Program Number: 3544

Music Playlist

From Album: Awakening The Fire
Artist: R. Carlos Nakai & Will Clipman
2013 Canyon Records #CR-7108

Opening Essay: Track 01 Oasis
Music Break 1: Track 06 Shaman’s Trance
Music Break 2: Track 02 Kindling the Essence
Music Break 3: Track 10 Convergence

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