Dis­cov­er­ing Strange­ness — an ex­plo­ration of wild po­etry

The Casket - - Local - COREY LEBLANC coreyle­blanc@the­cas­ket.ca

Antigo­nish writer Anne Simp­son will lead a four-week po­etry work­shop start­ing this week­end.

The first gath­er­ing for Dis­cov­er­ing Strange­ness – an ex­plo­ration of wild po­etry – will take place Satur­day, Oct. 13, from 1 to 3 p.m., in the St. James United Church meet­ing room.

“What makes po­etry strange,” Simp­son said, with a laugh, when asked about the fo­cus for the ses­sions.

As an out­line for the work­shop de­scribes, ‘it is about dis­cov­er­ing and ex­plor­ing po­etry in terms of its wild­ness – and how to make poems wilder.’

“Peo­ple are, kind of, scared of it,” Simp­son noted of writ­ing, es­pe­cially po­etry.

She added “it is also about tak­ing peo­ple out of their com­fort zone,” when it comes to the ses­sions.

“We will be cel­e­brat­ing its strange­ness,” Simp­son said.

In sim­i­lar work­shops, she said she has asked par­tic­i­pants “to take bits of texts,” which are not nor­mally as­so­ci­ated with po­etry, and make them part of their work.

“It could be a line from a ser­vice man­ual,” Simp­son added.

She re­mem­bered one writer scram­bling pieces of ex­cerpts from a phi­los­o­phy book.

“They were weird, but they were won­der­ful,” Simp­son said.

She also plans to have par­tic­i­pants write poems and then “scram­ble the words.”

“When you do that, you usu­ally find out what’s im­por­tant,” Simp­son added.

Par­tic­i­pants will use map­ping to think about what they are writ­ing, and in­vent forms to shape new work.

“It is about us­ing a way of writ­ing that they are not fa­mil­iar with,” Simp­son said.

She noted peo­ple must par­tic­i­pate in all four ses­sions; the other three Satur­day gath­er­ings are set for Oct. 20 and 27, along with Nov. 10.

Simp­son said the fall work­shop is “for peo­ple in­ter­ested in po­etry.”

“I know this may sound like a lot of hooey, but it is a lot of fun,” Simp­son said, with a laugh.

To reg­is­ter, email An­nick with the Writ­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion of Nova Sco­tia at pro­grams@writ­ers.ns.ca

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