We connect in community through teaching and learning writing. Over the last 20 years I’ve watched writing workshops explode in volume and scope across North America. Writers and workshops are easy to find.
In previous lessons we talked about the idea that the doorway to become a better writer is to become a better learner. We write what we learn AND we learn what we teach.
To become a better learner, become a teacher.
We can write in community and we can write for community.
I’ve always enjoyed writing in community, gathering to bring our creations to life alongside each other. We feed on collective energetic sustenance to keep our projects alive and on accountability to keep our bottoms in the chair to get the writing done. This video explores the value of a writing community.
The larger community we serve as writers is our audience. How do you know when something is ready for publication? How do you find a place to publish your work? This video also explores ways of navigating the publishing industry so you can connect to a community of readers.
So much has changed since our last Canada Day.
Our town has large Canada Day traditions with a parade, festivals, fireworks, live music, delicious food. We invite anyone to join us. Our beach, parks and streets are packed with thousands of people. Last year I read a new poem at Victoria Hall. It is a tradition for the Poet Laureate to share a poem on Canada Day in Cobourg.
This Canada Day 2020 is quiet. Reflective. Today I feel grateful for a town and a country that so far have done everything they could to keep me safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. Thank-you! Watching the virus spread across the planet and witnessing how governments respond, support, or protect their people has helped to shine a light on our own communities. I feel blessed.
Since March I’ve thought about my about my ancestors more, wondering what they would think of our world today. Since we can’t come together as a country or a community in the same way this year, I decided to celebrate with all my grandmothers and grandfathers. This Canada Day I want to acknowledge my Métis and Anishinaabe ancestors alongside other Indigenous, Métis, and Inuit peoples of Canada.
Isolation has helped me to see more clearly what’s important to me. I walk every day. I always see something different. Here are some of the images and words I’ve collected on my neighbourhood #poetrywalk since March 2020. Poetry is everywhere.
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Explore Cobourg as a poet and share your discoveries using #poetrywalk.
Finding joy in painting is an unexpected surprise. A blank canvas and tubes of colour spread around me, I wonder what will happen. Mix colours on the smooth palette, then brush to canvas and I watch as the images reveal themselves.
This week I’m working on a painting inspired by Eva Cassidy’s version of ‘Fields of Gold.’ I play the song on repeat and invite the brush to lead me through the music without questioning anything. This is what happened:
June is Indigenous History Month in Canada. To acknowledge and celebrate with my students this year, I created a video to share my family’s story.
For the subscribers of Poetry Present and all our friends we have put together an eChapbook to celebrate Earth Day and National Poetry Month.