Kathryn Aalto is a writer, historian, teacher, and designer focused on the natural world.
For the past twenty-five years, her creative practice has fused nature and culture: teaching the literature of nature and place; designing artful, edible, and sustainable gardens; and writing about the natural world. She travels widely as a keynote speaker throughout North America and Britain.
“In writing, speaking, and design,” Kathryn says, “There are rich opportunities to create compelling narratives — one with words, the other with plants.” Kathryn is the author of three books including The New York Times bestseller, The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh: A Walk Through the Forest that Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood (2015) and Nature and Human Intervention (2011). Her third book is Writing Wild: Women Poets, Ramblers, and Mavericks Women Who Shape How We See the Natural World (Timber Press, June 2020). Her essays have appeared in Smithsonian Magazine, Outside, Sierra, Buzzfeed, Resurgence and the Ecologist, and more. She is currently working on her fourth book.
Kathryn is a judge with the Nature Chronicles Prize in Britain and co-founder of The Rural Writing Institute with James Rebanks in the Lake District. She is also a member of Association for Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (ASLE). She is a dedicated mentor to emerging writers of narrative nonfiction and lectures in garden media communications. She has a Masters degrees in both Garden History and Creative Nonfiction and a Bachelors in English from Berkeley. She is a graduate of the London College of Garden Design.
As a volunteer Trustee for The Ashdown Forest Foundation, she donates 5% of all proceeds from her writing courses to the Conservators of Ashdown Forest. Learn more here: Fundraising (ashdownforest.org)
Kathryn is a passionate practitioner and educator of narrative nonfiction. For more than twenty-five years, she has taught writing and literature courses at colleges and universities including Western Washington University, Everett Community College, and Plymouth University. She has a global mentoring practice, thriving online writing courses, and leads in-person writing and design courses throughout the United States.
Kathryn’s teaching philosophy is focused on encouraging a uniquely personal exploration of narrative nonfiction. At its core, she believe teaching is about responding to each student, whether they are emerging writers or writing beyond the level of content mastery. She creates a supportive learning environment that fosters creative expression, critical thinking, and individual artistic growth.