About Bonnie

It is said I bring a balance of curiosity, patience, acceptance, and a commitment to stay open and humble when guiding others in new learning.

Hola and hello, I’m Bonnie.

I am a writer, photographer and psychologist based in Seattle. When my son became a college freshman, I took a year-long sabbatical to write. I went first to Guanajuato, and fell in love with its heritage, colors, people, and community. I continued in Seville, Spain for three months, and was set to return to Mexico to spend three months in Oaxaca before finishing my year in Salta, Argentina. COVID-19 had other plans. I returned to Guanajuato, where I remained for the rest of the sabbatical year. I wrote and walked every callejón I could find. I met Liz Mapelli and came to live at the Florecer Casitas. It was there that the idea for a writer’s retreat was born.

I’m excited to bring all my experiences together to be your workshop host.

The most frequent comment I receive when offering classes or workshops is about my engagement and enthusiasm. It is said I bring a balance of curiosity, patience, acceptance, and a commitment to stay open and humble when guiding others in new learning.

I can’t wait to learn and grow with you at Guanajuato Writing Retreat!



For many years, my writing was within the professional realm, for psychology journals. In 2010, I returned to short essays and poetry, two forms that I had been writing since childhood. I am drawn to what lies below the surface of everyday moments.

Poems have appeared in PenumbraPoetica MagazineThe Good LifeDrash: Northwest Mosaic56 Days of August and La Presa.

Featured Readings: Easy Speak Seattle, Rainier Valley Lit Crawl, Duvall Poetry, and PoetryBridge.

My first book of poetry, Dreaming in Cantera/Sueños en Cantera, was released February, 2023, from WordTech Editions.

To hear some of my poetry, you can visit my page at Pictures of Poets.

To learn more about my path to writing, listen to Emma Dhesi’s interview for the podcast Turning Reader’s into Writers.


I am a licensed clinical psychologist, practicing in a variety of aspects in the field since 1992.

I received my PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Southern California. I completed post-doctorate work at UCLA.  I have worked as a researcher, administrator, clinic director, clinical supervisor, professor and private practice therapist. I have many years of experience as a teacher, workshop facilitator, and process group leader.


My eye is drawn to the unexpected – juxtapositions, colors and forms that convey something new or that invite me to see something new in what was, just a second ago, quite mundane. I sometimes photograph the same thing every day as a kind of practice to look for what is there today, which may or may not be visible again.

Join me at this year’s Guanajuato Writing Retreat to take the next steps to write – and live – boldly.

Photography by Bonnie Wolkenstein, Ph.D. All rights reserved.