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

How to be a full time spoken word artist… a panel!

I got to host a panel tonight featuring the likes of Lishai Peel, Ian Keteku and Dwayne Morgan.

As you can imagine it’s a constant hustle to be an artist. How could it be done full time? We explored this reality based on the lived experiences of new and long-time full-time artists, Lishai, Ian and Dwayne.

We explored questions like:

  • photo-13Who are you? How would you sum up what you do?
  • What was the poem that helped kick-start your career?
  • What piece reflects the cutting edge of your work?
  • What was the landscape of shows, venues, communities and key people that helped you get started?
  • What have been the challenges, the worst case scenarios you’ve faced?
  • When was the first moment you glimpsed the possibility of being a full-time artist? How did you decide to go for it?
  • How much do you make – or if you’d rather – what is the extent and impact of your work?
  • What’s your secret?

The rich responses from Lishai, Ian and Dwayne informed, challenged and inspired many of us in the room.

It was an honour and a pleasure. Thanks Toronto Poetry Project ( for organizing this informative gathering!

Posted in Toronto Poetry Project news | Tagged , ,

At the Engineer’s Without Borders 2014 Conference

If you were given approximately 6,000 words from Engineers Without Borders chapters across Canada reporting on their successes in 2013, could you create a poem? I did.

I wrote this poem and performed it today. In a room of about 600 people, the standing ovation I received was stunning. I wish I’d taken a picture of that.

See the full piece here:

Posted in Performance news | Tagged ,

At Chinguacousy Secondary School

With the support of the Poets in the Schools program via League of Canadian Poets and the organizing power of Darlene Fournier and Ruchi Patel, I had the pleasure of leading 4 spoken word workshops for nearly 80 students today.

Free association with a Grade 9 class

I did a free association exercise in each of the classes using words generated by the students around our topics for the class to create an impromptu spoken word piece.

I was able to show how the creative process works in real time and answer some curious, challenging and far-reaching questions about our topics at hand.

Thanks for having me Chinguacousy!

Posted in Workshop news | Tagged , , ,

Bullying Awareness: A Letter to the Playground Bully

scarlett heightsThis month I’m doing my teacher’s college practicum at Scarlett Heights Entrepreneurial Academy. I got to participate in their Bullying Awareness Assembly and perform one of my current favorite poems, A Letter to the Playground Bully, by Andrea Gibson.

Listen to it here:

Andrea introduces this piece by saying that while acts of bullying in schools have received a lot of media attention recently, there hasn’t been as much attention about what schools are doing (or not doing) to create safe spaces. I think she’s right.

The TDSB’s equity policy is very inspiring in its progressiveness and yet it takes a long time to translate that kind of forward thinking into action. Let’s work on it.

Posted in Performance news | Tagged ,

“Silence can be a way of saying something so important that it can’t be put into words.” – Children’s Spirituality by Rebecca Nye.

Posted in Uncategorized

Happy National Poetry Month!

Did you know National Poetry Month is 15 years old in Canada?

I’m excited to perform tomorrow for the Institute of Cultural Affair’s community of facilitators and friends tomorrow. Come join us! Details for both of my two official poetry month gigs are linked here. Thanks to the League of Canadian Poets, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Department of Heritage for funding.

I had the pleasure of attending the League of Canadian Poets’ official launch party for poetry month. I breezed in buoyed up by the inspiration I soaked up at York Region’s Be Heard Festival.

I’m amazed by the poetry I saw taking shape at Huttonville Public School yesterday. I’m grateful for the connections I made on Friday with the 8 1/2s and the Intensive Class at Markville. I am curious about how my presentation and performance at Holy Trinity School today will help shape the verbal-visual-essays the students are creating about a social justice topic.

It’s a busy month for this poet!



Posted in Performance news, Workshop news