Alumnae/i Profile: Ellen Waterston ’64

Ellen Waterston, St. Mary’s-in-the-Mountains, Class of 1964, is an award-winning author and poet. She grew up in New England and now lives in Bend, Oregon. It is her love of writing and the literary arts that is the common thread in her life. When Ellen was a student at St. Mary’s, her English instructor was one of the first to make her aware that her talent for writing is a gift. Her appreciation and affection for the outdoors grew during her high school years in the White Mountains, “If there is school anywhere that understands and underscores the importance of a close relationship to nature better than The White Mountain School, I’d like to know where it is.”

Ellen Waterston ’64 (Photo by Marina Koslo)

Ellen Waterston ’64 (Photo by Marina Koslo)

Ellen will celebrate the 10th year of leading her “Writing Down the Baja” creative writing retreats in Todos Santos, BCS, Mexico. The week-long 2020 retreat is Todos Santos’ longest-running creative writing workshop. It begins on Sunday, January 26, and includes workshops, local excursions including turtle hatches on the beach, a fiesta, and guest presenters.

Ellen is the founder of The Writing Ranch. Recognizing the importance of taking time away from daily demands to focus on writing and writing goals, The Writing Ranch is dedicated to supporting the craft and careers of writers through workshops, retreats, and one-on-one tutorials.

Ellen’s upcoming book, Walking the High Desert, Encounters with Rural America Along the Oregon Desert Trail, will be published by University of Washington Press in May 2020. Ellen writes, “I hope my stories encourage others to expand their personal biographies of place.” You can read more about Ellen, her books, The Writing Ranch and her time at St. Mary’s -in-the Mountains in the next issue of Echoes magazine, to be released in 2020.

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