Creative Writing Workshops
Our monthly creative writing workshops invite participants to explore their own creative voices and various possibilities for creative writing activities across all grade levels.
Guided by local Torontonian poet Fan Wu, this workshop explored queer poetics and exposed participants to different ways of reading and writing poetry as a community. Fan gave a very brief overview of three strands of queer poetics. He then took up the two chapbooks from his What Queer Reading series (https://whatqueerreading.com) as material for the workshop.
Mis/Translations & Homophonic Translations
This workshop looked at Mis/translations and Homophonic translations of poems inspired by poems written in languages unfamiliar (or in Carson’s case familiar but Ancient) to the translator. Translation itself is seen as an art form where a writer attempts to capture not just the language but also the sentiments of the original text. It is entirely subjective. Translation typically involves sitting entirely with the content of the original and reproducing it in (our case) English. Today, however, we are going to sit with the letters and sounds of the original and translate those sounds into English language.
Poems of Immediacy/Poems of the Moment
This workshop looked at poems of immediacy / poems of the moment through the online poetry publication Rattle, which uses current news-worthy events to generate poems, and Frank O’Hara’s Lunch Poems, which are poems inspired by his midday quotidian musings in midtown Manhattan.
This workshop looked at Occasional poems via the poem “Seventy-Seven Beautiful and Adorable Things for Arthur Okamura’s 77th Birthday” by Joanne Kyger as well as elegiac occasional poems and Rengas via Renga for Obama to introduce collaborative writing. The purpose of this workshop was to expose participants to different ways of reading and writing poetry as a community.
Contemporary Poets for the Contemporary Moment
This workshop began with reading poems by two contemporary poets whose writing is charged with the present moment - a moment when bodies and lives are particularly political. Participants then took turns reading the poems by both poets (Billy-Ray Belcourt and Terrance Hayes). Participants were invited to discuss what they noticed in the poems they read and wrote, and encouraged to bring these poets into their classes for students to engage with.