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Online Poetry Workshop Marathon / Chasing The Poem – Third Edition / All Indigenous Mentorship with Jónína Kirton + annie ross + Justene Dion-Glowa

April 11 @ 6:00 pm - April 25 @ 8:00 pm PDT

From April 11 to April 25, Massy Arts and Massy Books host, Chasing The Poem – Third Edition, an online poetry workshop marathon for emerging writers, in three courses created by Indigenous poets to demystify poetry writing, to present useful writing prompts, to incite imagination, and to address political and poetic points of view through poetic literature.

The classes – conducted by Jónína Kirton + annie ross + Justene Dion-Glowa, will be held through Zoom in an exclusively online method, with 2-hours long experimental courses that will mix literary theory + artistic expression.

By the end of this writing marathon, attendees will have received feedback about their writing by authors in production, aware of the market’s demands – but also aware of poetry’s potential.

The event will be hosted at Massy Arts’ Zoom room.

Tickets are limited, and registration is mandatory + required for participation.

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Chasing The Poem – A unique opportunity for emerging writers

Whether an emerging poet, unpublished author, poetry enthusiast, or someone searching for new ways of expressing their creativity – Chasing The Poem will connect our creative community in three courses: 

April 11 – Tue – 6pm to 8pm PST
Jónína Kirton
Witnessing the Sacred in the Day to Day: Found Poems

April 18 – Tue – 6pm to 8pm PST
annie ross
in between the lands of the living and the dead (soul loss)

April 25 – Tue – 6pm to 8pm PST
Justene Dion-Glowa
Cleaning the Body: A Poetry Workshop on Grief, Loss, and Trauma as Cathartic Muse

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The Workshops


Witnessing the Sacred in the Day to Day: Found Poems by Jónína Kirton

One doesn’t arrive – in words or in art – by necessarily knowing where one is going. In every work of art something appears that does not previously exist, and so, by default, you work from what you know to what you don’t know. Ann Hamilton

As writers we stand on the threshold – sacred witnesses suspended between what we know and what we don’t know. Until we are comfortable with the not knowing we may oscillate between two states: at times frozen and then there may be times of flight. In flight we usually find that we can’t settle into the writing. When frozen we sit fingers on keys or pen in hand, but nothing comes. Our greatest lesson may be learning to lean into deep listening to our surroundings and seeing the sacred in the day to day. Working from the outside in, by creating lists and embracing the art of contemplation we will work from what we know to reveal what we don’t know and create poems that sing.

Jónína Kirton, an Icelandic and Red River Métis poet was born in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, the traditional lands of the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, Anishinaabeg and the Métis. She was sixty-one when she received the 2016 Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for an Emerging Artist in the Literary Arts category. Her second collection of poetry, An Honest Woman, was a finalist in the 2018 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Her third book, Standing in a River of Time, was released in 2022. She is a citizen of the Métis Nation of BC and currently lives in New Westminster BC, the unceded territory of the Halkomelem speaking peoples.

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in between the lands of the living and the dead (soul loss) by annie ross

Details of topics in the form of a poem:

discovery, lamentation

sudden death, thanksgiving, Christmas

amongst jail sentences, court injunctions,

majestics and their shadows

dear Cedar, Hemlock

can i Love you any more hard than this

my fierce love

space between this and an other world, disappeared

mourning, moral precipice, natural law, majestics

drunken highway, serial slaughter, soul loss

eminent domain dominion disheartened

hands, empty with loss

what may we build, brothers, sisters?

reach out, dig in. teacher, teams, bones and flowers

annie ross is the daughter of a strong traditional Maya mother, auntie, and WWII veteran father (Sydney Mines, NS). She began education at home with plants, animals, art, Indigenous handwork, storytelling, and history in Compton, California. annie ross is a poet, weaver, sculptor, printmaker, researcher, and educator working with Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver. Her poems have appeared in the Capilano Review (Fall 2017, Spring 2022), Canadian Literature: A Quarterly of Criticism and Review (September 2017), The Maynard (Spring 2017, Fall 2015), Yellow Medicine Review (Fall 2014), Project Intersect Clarion Call (September 2014) and Quills Poetry Magazine (September 2014). Her work is part of various anthologies including Rachel Roses anthology Sustenance (Anvil Press, 2017) and Turtle Island to Abya Yala: Native American Women’s Poetry Anthology (Malinalli Press, 2011); as well, it has been launched at The National Museum of Animals and Society (Los Angeles 2014).

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Cleaning the Body: A Poetry Workshop on Grief, Loss, and Trauma as Cathartic Muse by Justene Dion-Glowa

Cleaning the Body is a poetry workshop aimed at utilizing grief, loss, and trauma as a cathartic muse. Indigenous people have experienced centuries of ongoing colonial traumas, tangling them in a web of hurt, frustration and a sense of isolation. Cleaning the Body aims to use poetry to remove this pain from the physical body and transform it into a body of work that serves as a means of connection with others who have shared experiences. Through connecting with others, we can become agents for the transference of intergenerational love rather than intergenerational trauma.

Justene Dion-Glowa is a queer Métis creative, beadwork artist and poet born in Winnipeg and currently living in Secwepemcú’lecw. They have worked in the human services field for nearly a decade. They are also an art instructor working with Indigenous youth in their downtime and provides workshops on healing grief and trauma through literary and arts endeavors. Their microchap, TEETH, is available from Ghost City Press. Trailer Park Shakes is their first full length poetry book, and is available from Brick Books.

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April 11 @ 6:00 pm PDT
April 25 @ 8:00 pm PDT