The Great Canadian YouTube Poetry Contest

My newest poetry video created by the talented Jessica, Charlie and Lucy at NTCI, late January. We submitted this video to the Great Canadian YouTube Poetry Contest, where voting by likes created a short-list. The videos were then judged by numbers just like at a poetry slam.

t on the tube

Watch my “I’m So Gay” piece, if you haven’t yet:

I was proud of my submission and so grateful for all the support – from the high school student who penned “I’m so gay” in 1″ block letters on her outer forearm to remember to vote, to the Halton Board’s invitation to read this poem at their Pride Dance, to my siblings who spread the word widely and really showed up. Thank you all!

The winner was the talented Winona Linn with her poem Homeward Bound. Congrats! Check out her poem:

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A week at McMurrich

I recently taught a week of poetry workshops for Grade 5 and 6 students at McMurrich Jr PS. You can see into our workshop process through these pictures tweeted by the teachers. Thanks @zeliaMCT and @kamla_sharbear.
check ininterview
It was a pleasure and an honour. Our grand finale was a showcase of the best poems written this week and the students amazed me.

I still have openings for workshops over the next month and a bit – on a first come, first funded basis. If you would like to work with me or know someone who might, please be in touch!

Thank you to the Ontario Arts Council for making this great week possible!

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A Week at BDHS

Last week I taught at Bradford District High School, the same high school I went to as a teenager. Family, teachers and perfect strangers were quite intrigued and curious about what this experience was like for me. It seems most people can imagine, for better or for worse, what this would be like them.

It was a great week. I am grateful. I could make a long list of all the things that inspired me about this experience. The short list includes: the equity work being done at the school by a few committed teachers, the fact that Bradford now has a GSA, and meeting Karen Stewart and many brilliant students. Much love to Joanne Bridgeman-Sparks for guiding the library-ship and to Judy Faria for organizing this!

The Ontario Arts Council’s Artist in Education funding made this week of workshops possible – a week where students created their own spoken word pieces, after learning about the art form, and performed them too!

In a Writer’s Guild meeting (a club that meets at lunch to write and talk about writing) we discussed what it’s like to earn a living as an artist and my work with the League of Canadian Poets came up. Stewart’s first vision was of me in a cape…. and that is what you see in this fabulously hand-made thank you card pictured here!

Poet in a cape

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Happy first day of school!

I know many students and teachers who are starting back at school today. I wish you a good start back. 

It’s always a big change from the summer time and so it’s not usually an easy adjustment, from both sides. Once the classroom routines become established and you are ready for your poetry unit, in English or Drama or otherwise, keep it in mind that it’s a great support to have an artist in your classroom.

I still have some financial support available for schools through the Ontario Arts Council’s Artists In Education program, so if you would like to bring me in for a week, please contact me. If a day of workshops suits your school better, we can request support from the League of Canadian Poets to make this happen. Let’s be in touch to make poetry come alive in your classroom!

I look forward to working with many of you in this 2014/2015 school year.






Posted in Workshop news

August Postcard Poetry

wpid-1361581812580This month I’ve been writing a postcard poem a day, thanks to the arts organizing of Paul Nelson. There are a few hundred of us writing these poems and mailing them to 31 one people on our list. Stay tuned for the results.

Thanks Paul!

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Tomboy tour

Performing tomboy

Okay, so this is not yet a great, big, dreaming-out-loud national or international tour but I have had a chance to perform one of my favorite poems, tomboy, in quite a few locations over the last couple of weeks. They include:

  • At Weston CI’s positive space training
  • At Valley Park PS’s unpacking gender stereotypes workshops
  • At the TDSB’s Gender-Based Violence Prevention Office
  • At Pedestrian Sunday’s Poetry on the Streets stage, on that sunny Sunday afternoon with bubbles blowing by, as part of a feature set with Cathy Petch – thanks to TPS and
  • Over the announcements for Parkdale CI’s celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT)

This variety and traction of these events make me wonder what it would be like to do a real tour…

…take your own online tour of this poem if you haven’t seen/heard it yet:




Posted in Performance news

Published online today

Sketchbook poem online for viewing!

Sketchbook poem online for viewing

I wrote and illustrated, so to speak, a poem for the Sketchbook Project’s 2014 tour. It will tour across the USA and make a stop in Toronto in November. Stay tuned.

The poem is called Beyond What’s Drawn and explores using crayon and marker as a medium and a metaphor. I’ve been working with this medium for almost a year now. Producing the sketchbook put me to the task of exploring the meaning of crayons and colouring.

It was published online today! Check it out at:

Posted in Poetry news