Dawn Wink: Dewdrops

Landscape, Language, Teaching, Wildness, Beauty, Imagination

Stories at the Intersection of Language and Landscape Through Wildness, Beauty, and Imagination: A Scholarly Personal Narrative — Dissertation Defense (Video)


What felt like an impossible dream for so many years came true on October 6, 2021. I successfully defended my dissertation, “Stories at the Intersection of Language and Linguistic Literatures Through Wildness, Beauty, and Imagination: A Scholarly Personal Narrative.”

The journey of the past four years of coursework and dissertation writing held many explorations, discoveries, dear new friends, amazing ideas, unexpected challenges, and all else that composes life.

My inquiry focused on stories at the intersection of language and landscape through wildness, beauty, and imagination.

The whole experience of the defense was was so much more than I ever let myself hope for or dream. A truly joyous experience! I remain forever grateful to my phenomenal dissertation committee: May Elawar, PhD; Jennifer Wells, PhD; and Luci Tapahonso, Professor Emerita. A recording of my defense here:

The marvelous word for dissertation in Costa Rica—chifladura—expresses a powerful vortex of the coming together of natural powers and energies. This symbolizes my dissertation experience exquisitely.

After my defense, Mom and I cried… beyond words to be able to share this with her 30 years after her own dissertation defense. Dr. Wink squared celebrated in fine form on the swings!

And, I promise to take this t-shirt off someday…maybe…I’ll think about it…


Author: Dawn Wink

Dawn Wink is a writer and educator whose work explores language, landscape, wildness, beauty, and imagination.

33 thoughts on “Stories at the Intersection of Language and Landscape Through Wildness, Beauty, and Imagination: A Scholarly Personal Narrative — Dissertation Defense (Video)

  1. Dear Dawn….er, ah, excuse me…Dr. Wink,
    I can hardly believe all you have accomplished in the last few years. The challenges and your triumphs are simply amazing! I am so proud of you….YOU DID IT!!! Also, I am grateful for your wonderful family. I know their support and love have helped you to stay “in the race.” You are all amazing and I am so happy for you. My most sincere congratulations on this auspicious occasion. Now, just try to sleep late once in a while….when you come down from that cloud! Much love to you and yours, Rhoda

    • as much as we strong arm

      the ingredients to co-form to a recognizable patty

      what drives us others to delightfulness and leaves us awestruck and batty

      is her charm;

      because through sleep or wake

      dawn always comes,

      for she cannot take

      a day off, from all that is the her, of how she runs :

      : in the morning coming i know that somewhere

      out there,

      dawn, she winks,

      and it is for herself and us all, both for you and me too,

      that we may connect through the infinite space between,

      through languages both recognized and unseen

      humbly urs across all the vastness, TMB

  2. Dawn, What a long, creative and meaningful journey. I never realized a dissertation could be magical, but yours is. Congratulations.

  3. Congratulations, Dr. Wink. What a beautiful defense. May God bless your work.

  4. light coming reigns over darkest nights into dawn,
    now words medicine doctor of dew drops dancing them into the landscape of morn

    at the confluence of medicine
    and win
    came to doc..k,
    yes, ’tis ok;
    to drop the oh ‘n say,
    at the coming of morn ~
    from four directions, she was born,
    this, this forming you,
    this inspiration who
    is the landscape greeter,
    medicine words seeper,
    doctor dawn :

    : congratulations from the far reaches of the universe now doc,
    with each sunrise as you keep penning a way,
    by dawn’s early light
    so right,
    in fight
    to voice valence of the slight
    and of the meek,
    gifting penship’s speak ~
    and with THIS, this doctor
    drip drops proctor
    & bring
    the uplift of each wing,
    beating powerfully swift, thirst quenched
    and sustained by wrenched
    sips and drips of plucked dew drops ~
    raining a doctor dawn wink, no stops

    most loving & monsoon style drenching, refreshing congratulations, Dr Dawn Wink !


    • Dearest Tanja,
      I sit in my sacred early morning darkness and candlelight and read, absorb, and treasure this beyond-beautiful gift of your poem.
      I am speechless, truly.
      Your poems that you bless me with carry me to my very essence, sheer spirit—a reflection of the sheer magic of your words.
      I cannot thank you enough for this blessing.
      Ever so much gratitude and love,

      • ❤ to u Dawn

        wishing upon the falling

        a shooting stars' flash through these darknesses calls

        in this brief season moment of autumn time,

        renting, sublime :

        : and while matter may forever be conserved

        energies spread, unnerved …

        wishing fun October clothes and close

        and themed accessories; who knows,

        this harvest's bounty and what not?

        are spells & magic really just guidings of spirit from fall's cauldron pot?

  5. Congratulations, Dr. Wink!!!! You are a marvel!!
    What an incredible contribution you have made, Dawn. So relevant and so original. Your presentation was beautiful, thought-provoking, inspiring…an absolute delight! There were dozens of ideas I can’t wait to follow-up on with more reading, but most of all, I CAN’T WAIT TO READ YOUR NARRATIVES.
    I’m beyond happy for you.
    Sending big, congratulatory hugs from Toronto,
    Love Gina

    • Dear Gina!! Oh, thank you, thank you so very much for all here! I am so grateful that you watched the video and we could share this. I CAN’T WAIT TO GET THOSE NARRATIVES PUBLISHED AND SO CAN SHARE WITH YOU. 🙂
      Here’s to sharing our journeys, dearest Gina.
      So very grateful.
      Much love,

  6. Dawn, I cannot imagine the boulders and mountains you moved to make this possible. May your stand in the beauty of this light for months to come. Congratulations seem inadequate; may your joy be uncontained.

    • Dearest Pat, thank you ever so much for taking the time to connect on all here. Oh, do I love and miss you! “May you stand in the beauty of this light for months to come”—your poetic spirit and essence shine through in all here. What a gift to receive.
      Ever so much love to you,

  7. Congratulations, Dawn! Connie Austin

    On Sun, Oct 24, 2021 at 4:59 AM Dawn Wink: Dewdrops wrote:

    > Dawn Wink posted: ” What felt like an impossible dream for so many years > came true on October 6, 2021. I successfully defended my dissertation, > “Stories at the Intersection of Language and Linguistic Literatures Through > Wildness, Beauty, and Imagination: A Scholarly Person” >

  8. I’m so proud of you! To hear your committee lavish praise and commend you on everything? Wow – I am so glad I got to witness your defense. And don’t take that t-shirt off until it’s in tatters!

    For months after mine, I felt lighter, almost naked not having the experience ahead of me, hanging like an enormous (but so worthwhile) burden from my being. To this day I remember the satisfaction, the relief, the disbelief that I’d done it, it was over and accomplished. And I wandered (metaphorically) from thing to thing wondering what to do with all the time and energy that had been devoted to the work. Take the time now to revel in your work, your accomplishment – your time.

    And to see that piece of stained glass in this post? Wow. Marie


    • Dearest Marie,

      Thank you ever so much for sharing this with me. Shirt still on! 🙂

      Oh, that feeling of relief/disbelief so resonates with me. I find myself experiencing waves of sheer disbelief and a sense of, “I can’t believe that I actually did it.” There were so many years leading up to my even applying to the program where it just felt like the impossible dream. Then, there’s the intensity of the actual program/writing itself. So I swing back and forth between disbelief and feeling pretty. damn. good. Yes, yes, yes, the gift of TIME now. I am still reveling in this. I’m also very big into naps!

      Such a gift to share this with you and of course your stained glass had to be present in this journey.

      Much love,

  9. Beautiful! Congratulations!!!

    Get Outlook for iOS

  10. I am so proud of you…throughout the last twenty+ years of friendship I’ve watched you prepare, develop, execute and absolutely hold fiercely to this dream. Now can we please play? Love you lots.

  11. What an incredible accomplishment, Dr. Wink! So happy for you!
    Sending lots of hugs! ☺️🤗🤗🤗

    • Emanuel, throughout this journey I have loved the beauty that you share in your blog! So sorry that I haven’t been good about connecting. Please know what a bright light of inspiration and beauty your work has been and continues to be!✨🌿🖌

      • Thank you so much for your lovely and kind words, Dawn. They are much appreciated. Connections are so full of mystery, aren’t they? When we connect with others without them knowing it, it’s still a connection but it’s so much more powerful when it’s received and acknowledged. However, it’s a gift of the soul when we trust that those who care about us in any way, do think of us, even when in silence and unspoken our thoughts are with others.

        Good luck wherever your journey now takes you and know that I, too, am inspired by your work and your being.

  12. Dawn, Congratulations on a journey well done!

  13. Huge congratulations, new Dr Wink!!!!! You are an inspiration! Thank for sharing moments from your amazing life. Love the interactions with your mother, too. Peggy Hanson

  14. Proof of your dissertation, that through all the incredible challenges of the past few years that you’ve had personally and within the community and world at large, one can emerge more whole and joyous. Well done, Dawn. Savor this for a long time.

    • Patty, thanks so very much for taking the time to connect on all here. Means so very much to me. Very grateful to share the whole of the journey with you. XOXO

    • harpur rites and rights

      is the flavor
      the seed bomb landings of her tedding
      from the creek of the four graves, eternally revisiting in ongoing insights
      of story telling powers in restorative rites and rights?


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