INKSLINGERS POETRY NIGHT – August 8th – Get Your Poetry On!





A couple of years ago, I used to lead a free workshop for an hour or two before our Hot-Sauced Words Poetry Performances, (Third Thursday every month at the same location). But the timing was awkward – over the dinner hour – and for a variety of reasons I discontinued it.

But ever since then, people who attended it have been asking “When will you bring it back?”

A few months ago, the stars aligned. We began the Inkslingers Poetry Night in Toronto the second Thursday of every month. This Thursday, August 8th, is the next one. It’s like a free workshop – poets come and write to prompts, then pieces are workshopped (you don’t have to submit a piece to be workshopped – you can just observe and offer your own thoughts – and in the last hour poets perform and have their at-the-mic techniques tweaked if that would be helpful to them.

It’s all done in a constructive and supportive way.

INKSLINGERS will now offer a poetry evening (2nd Thursday every month) at the ever-gracious-to-poetry Black Swan Tavern – 2nd floor. This evening is designed to get everyone writing, revising, and performing.



The first hour (beginning at 7:00) will consist of writing exercises facilitated by Sue Reynolds designed to give you an hour to write poetry then-and-there. Bum in chair. Engaged and present and productive. This event is open to anyone as long as they have come to write. Bring a pen and paper.

Sue Reynolds has been leading writing workshops in Canada and internationally for 15 years. Many poems and short stories written in exercises with Sue have gone on to literary publication and to win prizes in competitions. (Most recently, a short story begun by a participant in Sue’s Sanctuary won the $1000 Amprosia prize). The costs of Sue’s workshops run between $80 to $300 per day, but she is leading these exercises gratis because she believes that much of the best poetry happens in that energy of writing community.



The second hour (from 8:10 to 9:10) consists of workshopping poems that writers have revised to the place where they now want input from fresh eyes. The Craft portion of the evening will be facilitated each month by a special guest facilitator.

To derive the best value from this segment, please bring 15 to 20 copies of a poem (no more than 30 lines) that you want to present for feedback.

Each participant will have a maximum of 8 minutes to both read the poem and receive feedback on their work from those in attendance who wish to make constructive comments. (Further feedback may be offered in writing on the submitted copies).

We normally review 7 or 8 poems during this hour.

The Craft portion of the evening will be facilitated by a guest facilitator.


The final hour (from 9:20 to 10:20) is an open mic. Writers may read a poem they created in the first hour of the night, or may read something they bring with them for this purpose. Each writer will have 3 minutes to perform a poem. After each poem is read, the audience is asked to support each reader with kudos for aspects well handled, and any suggestions for ways to make reading the poem more effective. It’s all about learning the entire craft!

This portion of the evening will be facilitated by Creative James Dewar, host of Hot-Sauced Words Poetry Performances, Now in it’s sixth year (Third Thursday every month!) at the Black Swan Tavern.

In the event that we have more poets signed up than we have time available, the Craft and Open Mic slots will be allotted by draw.

154 Danforth Ave. (2nd floor) just east of Broadview)

Black Swan Tavern

Poetry Workshop September 21: Rhymes at the ROM


I’m delighted to announce that James and I are facilitating a writing workshop at the beautiful and historic Royal Ontario Museum. This has been in the works for a long time – I’m delighted it has finally come to fruition!

A Poetry Workshop (not necessarily in Rhyme!)
in one of the most evocative sites in Toronto

ROM skeletons and ghostThe Royal Ontario Museum is a gorgeous storehouse of anthropological, geological, and paleontological information and artefacts. On September 21 we will spend a day of experiencing these “prompts” through sensory, emotional and cognitive ways.

Poets will be given prompts and exercises and encouragement throughout the day designed to help you engage with the bones of your material and your craft.

At the end of the day, there’s an optional reading at a local restaurant to try out one of the new poems you’ve created.

Sharing is optional of course.

Date: September 21, 2013
Time: 10:30 to 4:30
Registration: $70 – covers entrance to the ROM, all workshop activities, and one drink at the Happy Hour Reading afterwards at a local restaurant starting at 5:00 p.m.

Poetry is Community! Experience the connection.

Click here to register for Rhymes at the ROM

Click the Dinosaur picture to the left to go to Inkslingers to register.

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In the summer of 2013 I was invited to do a TEDtalk on “Shining the light on our Changing Communities”. I talked about the therapeutic writing program I do with incarcerated women. You can view the talk here.

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