In Love with Words, Landscape, Art, Food, Gardens



Paula Panich is a Los Angeles-based food, garden, and landscape writer who has contributed to the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Gastronomica and other publications. She is author of Cultivating Words: The Guide to Writing about the Plants and Gardens You Love, and other books. Her latest, The Cook, the Landlord, the Countess and Her Lover, is a collection of memoir-ish culinary essays. Oh, and a novel set in 1932 Hollywood too.

She loves to teach writing, and especially loves to hear the voices of people as they awaken to their love for and deep connection to place. These voices can only help our world — and ourselves — to survive.

Both consciously and subconsciously, my writing has been deeply informed by the land with a sense of place. In some important way, place determines who and what we are. This land-person equation is essential to writing, to all of literature.

~ N. Scott Momaday

Whether or not you succeed is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.

~ Georgia O’Keeffe

Mountain Stories is a series about the San Jacintos, above Palm Springs; you might have heard about them in 2013, when the Mountain Fire burned 27, 500 acres, and would likely have consumed our little town, Idyllwild, population 3,000, had not a good rain intervened.

Here is a shortcut to the series.

Paula Panich has been teaching since she was twenty-one; until she was thirty, she taught in the alchemical crucible of Bayside Middle School in San Mateo, California. There hasn’t been a teaching day since when she does’t think of what those seventh-grade students taught her.


She has taught everything from the history of Ancient Egypt to Hatha yoga and once, in a summer program, crocheting. She been teaching writing and literature to adults since 1999 at institutions from the New York Botanical Garden to the Getty Center, and from Boston University to the UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture Program.


2014 Workshops (So far!)

Seeing is the Seed: Exploring the Los Angeles County Arboretum (and a place of your own!) with Words on Paper

Sunday, January 26 and Sunday, February 9, 2014

Time: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Location: Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden

301 North Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, Calif.

Cost: $70 for both meetings/$60 Arboretum members

What: The workshop is open to all; you don’t have to consider yourself a writer. It’s about the deep connection between storytelling and landscape (plants, too) –essential for thinking about our own places in the world. This will be a fun and enriching activity — you will not be put on the spot to share your words on paper! But it will be a chance for you to find some surprising things within yourself. How do we live in place with a full heart?

For more information, write to Please put “writing workshop” in the subject box of your e-mail.


Walking Santa Fe: Place, Plants, Spirit, Food

~A Writing Workshop~

November 13-15, 2014


Please join Paula Panich for a writing workshop based on the sights, smells, taste, and spirit of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Founded in 1610, the city sits amid the natural beauty of Northern New Mexico; it has a deep and rich history braided by the traditions and beliefs of the three cultures now at home here.

Details found here:




(Photo of Paula Panich on Kachemak Bay, Alaska: Ilana Panich-Linsman,