Poetry Weekend

Westport Centre for Creative Learning

The Short Poem

Compression, image, metaphor, voice—there are many routes to the short poem. How does it accomplish so much in a little arena? In this workshop we’ll explore the elements behind the short poem. Through examples, exercises, discussion and reflection, we’ll explore the landscape of the small. The opportunity to read your drafts will be part of the process. This workshop is suitable for all levels—from beginner to advanced.
Presented by Catherine Graham, Winner of the International Festival of Authors Poetry NOW competition. She is the author of five critically acclaimed poetry collections. Her most recent collection, Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects, was a finalist for the Raymond Souster Poetry Award and the CAA Poetry Award. Winner of the International Festival of Authors Poetry NOW competition, she holds a Masters’ degree in creative writing from Lancaster University and teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto where she won an Excellence in Teaching Award.
poetry weekend 4x6 2

poetry weekend 4x6 1
Writing as Re-Enaction

Writing as Re-enaction is a technique that lies at the heart of all good literary writing but is rarely noticed or discussed, perhaps because it’s often invisible and always tricky to talk about. But in this workshop we will be talking about it and looking at clear examples, and then participants will be writing examples of their own. Finally, the participants will read their examples to the group and respond to their colleagues’ fresh compositions. “I love leading this workshop, which participants always enjoy, sometimes to their own surprise.”
Presented by Steven Heighton, Trillium Award Finalist and Governor General’s Award Nominee. His most recent books are the Trillium Award finalist The Dead Are More Visible (stories), Workbook, a collection of memos and fragmentary essays, and Every Lost Country (a novel). His 2005 novel, Afterlands, appeared in six countries, was a New York Times Book Review editors’ choice, and was a best of year choice in ten publications in Canada, the USA, and the UK. He is a fiction reviewer for the New York Times Book Review.

Strange Little Dramas: Staging Weirdness in Your Poems

Let’s face it; there’s something alien at the core of poetry. And unless poems are generated through strategies that exist outside intentionality – computer-generated poems, for example, or poems that operate through random processes like rolls of dice or other elements of chance – a reader of strong poetry often senses the presence of a poetic ‘self’. Dull poems often have a familiarity, a voice we’ve heard before. The first half of this workshop will focus on strategies for pushing your poems in more startling, even bizarre directions. The workshop’s second half will examine the notion of dramatic presence, and how to achieve singularity of voice. Examples will be drawn from a variety of poets. If you would like to bring in your own work feel free to do so. We will concentrate on writing exercises that leverage new poems with a fresh oddness and singular dramatic presence – the sense that ‘here’s a voice I haven’t heard before’.
Presented by Jeanette Lynes, winner of the Bliss Carman Award & the Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Award.
With a new book poetry being published in fall 2015 and multiple awards for her past work (Archived of the Undressed, The Factory Voice) The Factory Voice, a Globe and Mail ‘Top 100’ book for 2009, was also podcast on CBC Radio and was the Durham Region Public Libraries’ ‘Community Reads’ choice in 2010. Jeanette has taught at The Banff Centre and has been a Writer in Residence at multiple libraries and schools. Currently, Jeanette directs the MFA in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan where she also leads graduate writing workshops.

The Nature of Poetic Process and Poiesis vs Creativity

This is a talk and discussion on the way poems evolve and present themselves to the poet – the way of mind. Following Coleridge’s poem, Frost at Midnight”, we will investigate the nature of poetic process; and discuss the difference that may lie at the heart of the terms poiesis vs creativity.
Discussion with Ian Burgham, Winner of the Queen’s Well-versed Award and Nominee for the ReLit Award.
Ian spent many years in Scotland, and spent three years attending the University of Edinburgh where he studied the nature of poetic process and the writings of William Blake. He is the author of five collections of poetry. Burgham has performed his work in many poetry venues, published in over twenty literary and poetry journals in Canada, the UK and Australia, and toured Great Britain reading at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and at Canada House in London. His newest work, Midnight, has just been launched by Quattro Books this year.

Unforgettable! Outstanding! Do not miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to meet
and work with some of the world’s most profound writers and poets. This event is a
meaningful experience where you will be indulged and deeply satisfied not only
through rich language and the power of poetry, but also by 50 acres of serene nature,
complete with ponds, waterfalls and breathtaking beauty.

June 5th, 6th and 7th 2015


Catherine Graham
Steven Heighton
Jeanette Lynes
Ian Burgham


Friday night reception – refreshments – social – introduction to the poets and the weekend


Delicious breakfast followed by the workshop, The Short Poem by Catherine Graham at 10 am till 12
Lunch followed by Writing as Re-Enaction by Steve Heighton at 2 pm till 4 pm
Dinner followed by Poetry Reading by Poets (accompanied by refreshments)


Breakfast followed by the workshop, Strange Little Dramas: Staging Weirdness in Your Poems by
Jeanette Lynes at 10 am till 12 noon
Lunch with talk about the nature of poetry and Poeisis by Ian Burgham
2:30PM Poetry Reading with Jeanette, Steve, Catherine and Ian (open to the public)
4PM Coffee, Tea, Dessert and closing remarks

Sunday afternoon Poetry Reading 25 per person
Daily rate (includes lunch) 95 per person
No accommodation 350 per person
Double occupancy with ensuite 550 per person
Single occupancy with ensuite 650 per person

Sunday Afternoon will include refreshments, signed poetry book (offered while quantities last) plus there will be a draw for an e-mailed review and critique of a poem from Jeanette Lynes.

We suggest early registration to confirm participation. We are offering few spaces to allow us to provide specialized care and attention to each guest. There are limited spaces are available and they will quickly fill up.

Westport, Ontario
For inquires or bookings please email
REGISTER at www.centreforcreativelearning.com

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