27 November 2005

poetry fiction poetry fiction

Yesterday I led my first "Advanced Poetry Boot Camp" at This Ain't the Rosedale Library, designed solely for people who had participated in my earlier "regular Poetry Boot Camps." I was pretty nervous about it — would I be able to come up with a sufficiently challenging and diverse set of projects for them?

On Friday I had a good chat with Camille about workshops, and we discussed words to use instead of "exercise" or "assignment" -- she suggested "experiment"; I came up with "method." I don't know exactly why this is so important to me, but every time I've ever said "the next exercise..." in a workshop, I cringed inwardly. Perhaps because an exercise sounds like it's "practice," like nothing final can come out of it. And I certainly believe actual poems can emerge from all these projects (actually, "projects" is a pretty good word, too). Anyway, it was a mighty helpful discussion. We shared some of our workshop strategies, and she sparked some pretty good ideas in me.

The all-day Advanced Poetry Boot Camp, with eight seasoned Boot Campers, went extremely well, as it turned out. Man, there was so much good stuff written in the course of that day. And I felt far more relaxed than I had expected to, and actually participated in six of the methods myself. Two or three of my poems are definitely going to be keepers, with a little work. We did some sound poetry, which was a lot of fun: none of the participants had ever done any sound poetry before. What we ended up with was a bunch of homages to bpNichol. Nice to make funny noises again; it's been a while.

At the end, I invited everyone to take part in a chapbook anthology I'll publish of the "best of the day" through my Proper Tales Press. Very excited about that project, too.

But now I have to think about fiction.

Next Sunday, Kate Sutherland and I are hosting the first instalment of our Fictitious Reading Series, an all-fiction monthly series we conjured up. The December 4 inaugural event will feature Heather Birrell and Harold Johnson. Will people come? Will the idea of a non-poetry event be a turn-off or will it intrigue people? Does anyone read fiction anymore? I mean, anyone who comes out to readings? We'll find out soon enough.

Over and out.


At November 28, 2005 2:53 pm , Blogger a.raw said...

exercise? workshop? experiment? method?

i use "writing game" with frequency.

At November 29, 2005 6:42 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read fiction!
Where is the reading being held? And what time?


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