Workshops

The workshops I offer can respond to and generate all kinds of questions and conversations.

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Workshops are not like meetings, which rationally or intellectually approach problem solving. Rather, by exploring via poetry, I help participants to open their hearts and minds to their own possibilities. The seeds of what’s possible become visible.

Workshops can begin a process of change on several levels: the individual, the group, and sometimes the organization itself.

Sometimes they deal with understanding stuckness, sometimes they address specific group interests. I have given workshops to nurses on waking up the senses, to a human rights and equity team on writing poems that unite and represent them, and to people juggling work and home on discovering where balance lies at any given moment.

After one or two consultations, I will create a workshop that addresses the needs of your particular group. Favourite workshops include:

  • Writing Your Way Out of A Paper Bag, about how we get stuck—personally or professionally—and ways to move forward.
  • Awake at Work, which offers simple ways to get present no matter where you are.
  • What If You Didn’t? And Other Questions to Ask When You’re Exhausted, a playful take on work/life balance and what it might look like to slow down.

The workshops offer poems as prompts for writing about whatever topic is under investigation. They serve as a way to look closely at a subject while not going at it with the same head-down labour that direct speech sometimes encourages. Poems can stir empathy, reflection, compassion, and awareness.

It’s an intensive, focused and playful approach to education, professional development, and change.

I have led workshops at University of Toronto, Ryerson University, Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto General Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, and ReMax; for writers’ groups in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto, and Santiago, Chile; and for students across Ontario.

 
 
 
The Job of An Apple appears in the Grade 11 textbook, “Viewpoints 11” and is used frequently in workshops.

The Job of An Apple appears in the Grade 11 textbook, “Viewpoints 11” and is used frequently in workshops.