24 July 2006

Workshopping around

Had a blast at Saturday's Poetry Boot Camp, and received great feedback from the participants too. Over the past year, I've been writing more poems in my own workshops, so that's a bonus for me. I wrote only two poems this time, but I was pleased with them, and it's not like I've been cranking out a lot of poetry recently. Also tried out a couple of new projects with the group and pleased with the results; I'm really enjoying how the sessions evolve in this way. Saturday's participants included one guy who hadn't written poetry before and one woman who has several books published. This kind of range of experience always enriches the sessions.

If I recall correctly, the first time I led a poetry workshop was 30 years ago. I worked with kids in grades 3-6 at my old public school, Wilmington, as part of either my sociology or English class at AISP. Around the same time, Mark Laba and I did sound poetry workshops with a mixed group of "gifted" and "challenged" kids through something called the Green Door Project, at Harbourfront. I remember we took the kids outdoors, and told them we wanted the people on Centre Island (is it still called that?) to hear them.

It's been a long journey since then. And planning two or three new workshops for this fall at This Ain't the Rosedale Library.

In other news, although I resisted, I turned 47 last week. Dana and I went back up to North York, where she took me for dinner at Vinnie Zucchinis. The food was actually pretty good; lots of veggie options. The last time I was there was when I took my brother Barry and my dad out for their birthdays (September 18 and 16, respectively) in 2000. It was to be my dad's last birthday. Through a miscommunication, my brother Owen ended up at the wrong restaurant. Especially sad, because he died a couple weeks later. It would've meant so much to my dad for us all to have been together. I wondered how I'd feel being back in that place, but it was a really nice evening.

Got some editing jobs completed and turned in last week, too, which felt good. It's been a while since I've been productive. Though it's been an act of willpower to keep the TV off in the background; but the relentless, boneheaded American coverage of the Mideast crisis is a waste of time, anyway.

Lots of projects on my plate still: editing, writing, publishing. Hoping I have another productive week ahead. Still hoping, too, to nail the novel, the eternal novel.

Hello, Atavan.

Over and out.


At July 24, 2006 3:44 pm , Blogger Janny Stratichuk said...


I was doing a search for bookstores in Castlegar, BC and your blog showed up again. Sadly no bookstores really to speak of.

I really like your writing style, there is a casual, friendly, engaging voice that is heard in this blog and it makes me want to read more of your stuff... so where can I find some of your poetry or other writings?

Anyways, just thought I'd drop a note.



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