Summer Camp for Creative Types

Come to  be inspired, stay to play.-2Art making requires support, time and attention. It can be lonely work. Makers spend time solo, problem solving ways to keep their practice alive. This can be hard.

The solution is in community and play – which are at the root of the creative process. Creativity is work at play. At summer camp, your creative process will be given the life-affirming support, time and attention it needs.

This is art school for the modern creative – playful, fun, experimental and collaborative. Come to summer camp to be inspired, stay to play.

Set outdoors, with a nearby rain venue, this summer camp for creative adults will be a fun chance to learn something new and exciting.

I will be your camp counsellor. I am a certified teacher, poet and facilitator. For the last ten years, I’ve lead workshops for theatre, dance, music and poetry groups. As a self-employed artist, I write performance poems, create visual art and craft paper pieces and have engaged in a daily creative project for the last five years.

I have taught thousands of students to write and perform their own spoken word pieces through the Ontario Arts Council and the League of Canadian Poets. I am also the lead facilitator with Toronto Poetry Project’s Write Better or Whatever.

Perhaps most importantly, I still know how to play. It is woven into my stars. I hope play will be a gift you’ll give to yourself and your work this summer.


The camp runs from:
Thursday, July 9, 7 – 9pm
Friday, July 10, 7 – 9pm
Saturday, July 11, 3 – 5pm

Drop in for just $15 a session, or join us for all three for $40. We meet at the Simon Bolivar statue in the northwest corner of Trinity Bellwoods Park.

Please pre-register by sending an email to to confirm your spot, though drop-ins are welcome.

August dates will follow.

FB event invite:

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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.






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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:




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