DWH Writing the Waves 2024 Facilitators

Amber Elizabeth Gray is equally artist, therapist, author, mystic, advocate, activist and provocateur. She cares deeply about the natural world and all their inhabitants, who have gifted us our bio-intelligences. Amber is renowned for her work with collective, ancestral, historic and interpersonal trauma and for her ability to hold a brave space. Past retreat participants celebrate her ability to invite the divine in to the everyday and support participants personal journeys. Learn more about Amber here.

Laura Teachout began writing short stories as a way to keep her head above the crazy waters of her mom’s dementia. Inviting her parents to live with her (and her husband and three step-kids and their dogs and cats) marked the start of twelve-years living in the world of Alzheimer’s. She recounts with compassion and humor her evolution from doing battle in an unwinnable war to embracing the journey. The move away from a mindset of resistance to one of acceptance marked a propound shift.

She says, “My mom smiled and waved at the woman she saw each time she walked past a mirror. Initially I just laughed, but then I began to do the same, a conscious nod to my mom’s spirit and grace –and to my own.”

Laura has lived, worked, and studied all over the United States. She’s belonged to writers’ groups from Chapel Hill, NC to Berkeley, CA. Themes of family, humor, grief, and transformational healing consistently inform her work.

Looking at her spectacularly non-linear career path, what becomes clear is that collaborative effort, peer support, and intellectual challenge have been among her primary drivers. She’s worked in community farming in VA, at a national environmental non-profit in its NY and DC offices, in enterprise IT procurement, and as a mental health advocate. Along the way, she’s provided editorial support on several books and many articles, and co-edited a journal of law and anthropology.

Laura has a JD from the University of Colorado at Boulder School of Law and a BA in English and Biology from Hiram College in Ohio. In Colorado where she advocated for people living with mental illness, she was a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Behavioral Health, and testified before house committees in support of statewide funding for peer support.

For Dancing the Wild Home 2: Writing the Waves, she’s put together a sampler of the work of well-respected nature writers, scientists, and poets to inspire attendees’ own writing and looks forward to the wild ride ahead.