I'm on a teaching hiatus for the moment. Please check back in the future!
“since feeling is first”
Writing & Reading Poetry as an Embodied Experience
3 Sunday afternoons, 1-4 PM; April 3rd, 10th & 17th, 2016
110 Odlum Dr., unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh land
since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you
- e.e. cummings
Poetry belongs to your body. A poem is big enough to live in. We need poetry for when words fail to explain but are enough to feel.
This workshop is an exploration into the possibilities of poetry experienced through the body, rather than filtered through the mind (though are they that separate, really?). There will be a central focus on writing and creating. We'll be moving around and staying present in our bodies; getting creative and using our imaginations; and writing, reading, and experiencing poetry. Learn to write and read poetry from an embodied, sense-based practice.
This workshop is for people of all ages with an interest in deepening their relationship to poetry. Maybe you love poetry but get bored with all the academic talk around it. Maybe you think you're no good at poetry or just don't understand it. Maybe you're a poet who wants to find a new way of looking at your craft. All writing levels and experiences welcome.
Image by Tiaré Jung.
Maximum 13 participants.
grace, rage & poetry
Writing for Trans and Gender-Variant Dreamers
5 Wednesday evenings, 7-9 PM; January 6th - February 3rd, 2016
Random Hearts Studio, 2929 Prince Edward St., unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh land
You already are the poem.
You don't have to explain yourself to anyone; you just have to write (about whatever you want). Hone your craft and generate new work in a space that supports and honours your gender identity without reducing you to a label that could never encompass your vastness. Celebrate the writing of an amazing array of trans and gender-variant folks, who are out there dreaming up a different world with their words, one that can hold all of our grace, rage, and poetry.
This is a five-week writing workshop for trans and gender-variant people of all ages, levels of writing experience and backgrounds. There will be a focus on poetry and poetic prose, but genres are blurry anyway so you can bring any kind of writing to this group, including fiction and other prose. Just know that we'll be reading mostly poetry/stuff that is sort of like poetry. Each session will include readings and discussion, embodiment exercises, time to write (and prompts to write to), and a focused workshop period. There will also be small group work, snacks and fun. Each participant will have the chance to have their writing workshopped by the group once. If people want, there will be a showcase at the end of the sessions (to be decided by the group).
Outside of the actual sessions, there will be a limited amount of weekly reading to do, as well as weekly preparation and feedback for other participants' work, and the crafting of one piece to be workshopped.
*Trans and gender-variant is used here to encompass all manner of gender identities and expressions, including agender, gender non-binary, genderqueer, two-spirit, intersex, questioning, and whatever else you can dream up. If you're not sure if this space is for you, feel free to be in touch.
Poster by Tiaré Jung.
Maximum 10 participants.
In addition, two people will be available throughout the workshop to offer support if participants are feeling triggered, need to talk with someone, or need to be pointed toward further resources. Luckily, these two amazing writers with training and experience in support work have agreed to fill those roles:
Ben grew up and continues to surround himself with writers; he is finally coming to a place of holding that for himself. He’s taken part in queer, trans* & politicized writing courses like Writing Ourselves Alive and The Story We Be, and is the volunteer coordinator for REVERB. He moves towards stories of unknown mixed and poc ancestry, queer and trans identities. When he’s not writing, he’s scooping ice cream, eating all the things, dreaming of summer and scheming future cafe plans.
Ben works as a support person for trans youth and adults.
Raven has been a 15 year old transsexual for almost 40 years. She has loved books and writing for as long as she can remember. One frosty New York morning with a dog eared copy of Naked Lunch in her back pack she walked into the Chelsea Hotel brazenly past reception and into the bar where
she knew she would find Bill. William Burroughs saw her come in, took a deep inhale looked down at his drink and shook his head. He always did this. Before Raven could get a word out; the reception guy had her by the shoulders directing her assertively but gently to the door. Undeterred she knew she would be back.
Still reading lots, trying to write well and still chasing her idols, Raven also teaches yoga and works as a support person to at-risk youth.
February 2015 - 2017
Writing Mentor with Langley Fine Arts School
I worked one-on-one with graduating youth online and in person to support them in creating new works of poetry, fine-tuning edits and creating a cohesive collection of writing. So fun!
January 2014 - April 2014
Teaching Assistant with UBC Creative Writing Department
As a Teaching Assistant for Introduction to Writing for Children and Young Adults, I assisted in lecture classes, led small group workshops, corresponded with students and marked assignments. I also designed and delivered a lecture on queerness and gender in young adult fiction, which is pretty fascinating stuff.
December 2012 - April 2014
Facilitator & Anthology Board Member with New Shoots
I participated in this program as a facilitator two years in a row because I loved it so much. I got to design and teach units on writing picture books and writing young adult fiction to youth in grades 11 and 12, plus I got to act as the Poetry Editor for the New Shoots Anthology in 2013 and 2014.
September 2012 - April 2014
Mentor with Booming Ground
Through Booming Ground, I was able to advise and mentor an amazing variety of writers of all ages in a huge range of genres with an online platform with the University of British Columbia.