I’ve designed and facilitated numerous workshops in creative writing, visual poetry, sound poetry, digital poetry, collaboration, sound, improvisation, and interdisciplinarity both as independent ventures and in collaboration with organizations.
Educational institutions with whom I have worked include Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature, Ryerson University, Writers in Electronic Residence, Learning through the Arts, Writers’ Union of Canada, The League of Canadian Poets, Ontario Arts Council, Queensland Writers Centre, Toronto New School of Writing, terminus1525.ca, and Menningarverkefnið hladan. Additionally, I have lectured, performed, and/or lead workshops at festivals and universities throughout Canada and Queensland, Australia, and in select locations in Iceland and USA.
Below is an outline of several workshops I’ve designed. Please contact me if you’d like to organize a workshop.
THE TEXT WORKSHOP
This course is taught solely online for a self-initiating group of international artists/writers, and utilizes online technologies in order to facilitate an intimate, generative, and support workshop environment where dedicated practitioners converge. As a multi-month course, it has occurred in Autumn 2011, Winter 2012, and Autumn 2012. THE TEXT WORKSHOP is a master class designed for people in-progress on project or manuscript development and is tailored to respond to concerns and interests of participants. We spend time entering the worlds of each project that participants are constructing. We consider how to shape a project, appropriate one’s own material, rework texts, and develop performance. Additional topics we cover include project descriptions, publishing and materials, and why we do what we do.
EAR KNOWS THROAT WORKSHOP
Participants experiment with sound, collaboration, and improvisation. EAR KNOWS THROAT is comprised of exercises focusing on acoustic ecology, sound poetry, and polyvocal performance. This workshop has been run for The Toronto New School of Writing (Toronto, Canada), Arts Queensland (Brisbane and Longreach, Australia), and Menningarverkefnið hlaðan (Vogar, Iceland) from 2010 to 2012.
In this workshop, participants apply the three rules of the environment (reduce, reuse, recycle) in ecopoetic exercises that experiment with structural approaches to poetry. New poetic work is devised through an exploration of contemporary poetic forms such as erasure and collaborative cut-up. This workshop has been run for The Toronto New School of Writing (Toronto, Canada) and Arts Queensland (Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, and Gold Coast, Australia).
THE GREAT CANADIAN STUDENT INTERVIEWS
In 2011, Malvern Collegiate Institute teacher John Ouzas invited me to facilitate Toolbox Workshops with his students. This experience morphed into a pilot project initiated by me and adopted by John for his grade 12 Writer’s Craft classes. The students were exposed to Canadian poetry and then chose authors to interview about their craft. Poets agreed to short written interviews, which proved a fascinating educational exchange. You can see the results here, which were subsequently published on Open Book: Toronto. Sophie Mayer has extended this project to the UK with a similar arts education initiative entitled I Don’t Call Myself A Poet.
This workshop series was initially designed in 2004 as an Ontario Arts Council Artists-in-Education program on offer to Ontario high-school classrooms interested in an intensive 25-hour in-class visit focusing on poetry. Later, the program was divided into ten separate workshops available as stand-alone visits for Ontario high school classrooms. Workshops focused on freeing creativity, the joy of editing, reading strategies, visual and sonic materials of languages, 20th-century poetry forms and procedures, online collaboration, and publishing. View this old-school PDF for the low-down.
Ciara Adams and I collaborated on this sound, text, and movement workshop, which we delivered in Toronto (The Theatre Centre), Peterborough (Trent University), and Kingston (Queen’s University) in 2007 and 2008. View Vocable’s old-school website.