Catoctin Forest Alliance Virtual Artist in Residence

Nancy Arbuthnot AIR 5 2020 800x600 Nancy Arbuthnot



Nancy Arbuthnot, our Artist in Residence (AIR) for 2020 was unable to do her residency in the park due to COVID 19 and the park closure. Nancy was undaunted by the limitations of her residency and put together some virtual teaching materials to be used with school children. Because Nancy did not have the opportunity for a real AIR experience, we have invited her to come back in 2021 to complete her residency.  Consequently we will not be accepting AIR applications for 2021. We encourage prospective AIR applicants to stay turned and submit applications for 2022.

Nancy Arbuthnot is a poet, artist and teacher from Washington, DC, who enjoys creating work inspired by nature and teaching others how to convey their experiences with the natural world through art and poetry. She finds that her work as a citizen-scientist with the DC Department of the Environment is greatly enhanced by drawing and writing poems about the frogs and toads inhabiting the ponds in Rock Creek National Park, right outside her back door!


Nature Haiku Virtual Workshop by Nancy Arbuthnot

    Nature Haiku Guided Meditation  by Nancy Arbuthnot









Sarah McCartt Jackson reduced size

 Catoctin Forest Alliance Poet in Residence

Sarah McCartt-Jackson

Sarah McCartt-Jackson was our Artist in Residence at Catoctin Mountain Park May 1-21, 2019.  Sarah is from Lexington, Kentucky where she is currently a teaching artist for the Kentucky Arts Council. She also offers community workshops for writers of all backgrounds through several organizations including Louisville Literary arts, Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, Fall of the Ohio State Park and others.

While in residence at the park, Sarah hiked every trail in the park, chatted with many visitors and made regular trips to the Visitor Center to interact with staff and guests.  She put up a message board in the Visitor Center and asked people to write down what they liked most about the park.  With that information, Sarah wrote a collaborative poem entitled Catoctin Mountain.  To hear Sarah read the poem with video accompaniment, click HERE.





Poet in Residency
The Catoctin Forest Alliance and Catoctin Mountain Park were proud to welcome Carlos Reyes as

the Poet in Residence from September 9-22, 2018.


Carlos ReyesAn Irish-American poet and translator, Carlos Reyes lives in Portland, Oregon when he is not in County Clare, Ireland or traveling to the Canary Islands, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Greece, India, Panama, or Spain, giving readings of his own work and connecting with poets in other countries.

Carolyn Kizer said, “Mr. Reyes is one of our local and national treasures. His poetry is as clear and strong as his social conscience. One is always struck by his sensual and sensory qualities: the touch, taste, feel, color of things and his ability to capture a mood, a world in a handful of lines.”

Mr. Reyes has written nine books of poetry. He has been a Yaddo Fellow, a fellow twice at the Fundacion Valparaise (Mojacar, Spain) and awarded a fellowship at the Heinrich Boll Cottage (Achill Island, Ireland). He has been a Poet in Residence at Joshua Tree National Park, the Sitka Island Institute, Sitka, Alaska, Acadia National Park and Devil’s Tower National Monument. While he was in residence at Joshua Tree National Park, he wrote a poem that was later displayed in the new visitor center at the park.

While in residence at Catoctin Mountain Park, Mr. Reyes wrote 17 poems about the park and its structures. His whole two week stay was soaked with rain and his poems reflect that condition. He did a poetry reading at the park on September 20 and everyone there thoroughly enjoyed his work. He has a great talent for seeing what is around him and painting a verbal picture  Below is one of the poems that Mr. Reyes wrote during his residency.


—Blue Blazes Whiskey Still

Mist condenses, drips from trees
a brook trout leaps for a mosquito
from water in a branch
of Big Hunting Creek

A single drop from copper
blue shadows creep like ribbons
of fog, bootleggers slipping
through the trees

On a windless day the scent
of earth, of moonshine rises
from around battered pot stills

you think steam, you
know it’s morning mist


CFA Welcomes Spring Artist in Residence
Jim Schlett reduced sizeJim Schlett, a photographer from Reston, VA was in residence at Catoctin Mountain Park from May 6-19, 2018  . Jim and his wife, Gail, spent two weeks exploring the park and interacting with visitors and staff. Jim presented two nature photograpy programs, took photos of the park staff and took photos of all of our Artist in Residence artwork in addition to capturing the beauty of the park with his photos.

With Jim’s permission, the link below is included with all of the nature photos Jim took during his residency.
Catoctin Images ---slideshows (This slideshow has music.) (Slide show without music.)



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Mountain Pathway in Catoctin Mountain Park

Photo by Jim Schlett