Tightrope Books

Register Online for Writing Workshop 3 with Catherine Graham

By Tightrope Books | October 14th, 2009 | Print This Post | Email This Post | Leave a Comment

Register here: http://tightropebooks.com/workshop-series/

What is this mysterious thing called voice? Tone. Word choice. Dramatic monologue. Persona. How do we mine the many voices within us? Using published models for inspiration, we will explore voice through group discussion and various writing exercises. Readings will be taken from the work of such writers as Louise Glück, Frank O’Hara and Carol Ann Duffy. This workshop is designed for writers of all levels.

Catherine Graham is the author of three poetry collections: The Watch, Pupa, and The Red Element. Vice President of Project Bookmark Canada and Marketing Coordinator for the Rowers Pub Reading Series, she teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto, the Haliburton School of the Arts, and through Diaspora Dialogues. Her writing has appeared in such journals as The New Quarterly, The Fiddlehead, Taddle Creek, The Literary Review of Canada, and Poetry Ireland Review. As part of Scotiabank’s Nuit Blanche, her work will feature in the poetry-based animation project Words Travel Fast.

www.catherinegraham.com

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Writing Without a Net Workshop 3: Playing with Voice with Catherine Graham

By Tightrope Books | October 9th, 2009 | Print This Post | Email This Post | Leave a Comment

Writing Without a Net Workshop 3

Playing with Voice with Catherine Graham

When: Saturday, November 7, 12-5 p.m.
Where: Tightrope office, 602 Markham Street, lower level
Price: $50 (There is a limit of 10 participants, so register early!)
*Contact Shirarose Wilensky at shirarose@tightropebooks.com or 647-348-4460 to register.*

What is this mysterious thing called voice? Tone. Word choice. Dramatic monologue. Persona. How do we mine the many voices within us? Using published models for inspiration, we will explore voice through group discussion and various writing exercises. Readings will be taken from the work of such writers as Louise Glück, Frank O’Hara and Carol Ann Duffy. This workshop is designed for writers of all levels.

Catherine Graham is the author of three poetry collections: The Watch, Pupa, and The Red Element. Vice President of Project Bookmark Canada and Marketing Coordinator for the Rowers Pub Reading Series, she teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto, the Haliburton School of the Arts, and through Diaspora Dialogues. Her writing has appeared in such journals as The New Quarterly, The Fiddlehead, Taddle Creek, The Literary Review of Canada, and Poetry Ireland Review. As part of Scotiabank’s Nuit Blanche, her work will feature in the poetry-based animation project Words Travel Fast. www.catherinegraham.com.

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Jim Nason Workshop Handouts Ready for Pickup

By Tightrope Books | September 29th, 2009 | Print This Post | Email This Post | Leave a Comment

The handouts for Jim Nason’s workshop, Teaching Intuition, are available for pickup at the Tightrope office by those who have registered. (The handouts are: Don Domanski, “Flying Over Language”; Donald Hall, “The Master”; and Gary Short, “Outlines.”)


Canadian poet, Don Domanski, describes intuition as “an unpredictable whisper against the skin, something that defies logic.” In this workshop, writers will explore ways of getting to the creative wonder that is beyond the demands of the intellect.

The workshop will take place at the Tightrope office, Saturday, October 10, 12-5 p.m. There are still a few spots open, so register now at http://tightropebooks.com/workshop-series/.

Our first workshop, the 21st-Century Canadian Sonnet with Molly Peacock, was a roaring success. An attendee had this to say:

The workshop with Molly Peacock was an invigorating kick in the pants. Molly’s vibrancy, enthusiasm and laser keen eye for detail changed the way I engaged not just with my own work, but with the larger body of contemporary poetry. Warm,witty and insightful, Molly’s boundless energy buoyed me up for days afterward.”

Tightrope Workshop Series

By Tightrope Books | August 20th, 2009 | Print This Post | Email This Post | Leave a Comment

Introducing the Tightrope Books Workshop Series!

Tightrope Books’ monthly writing workshop series connects published authors with people interested in receiving advice and instruction in the idiosyncratic art of creative writing. Whether you’re an experienced writer looking to bounce ideas off an established fellow traveller, or a neophyte writer hoping to arrange your creative ideas in verse or prose, the workshop series offers an exceptional opportunity for you.

Workshop 1: 21st Century Canadian Sonnet Studio with Molly Peacock
September 12, 12 – 5 p.m.

Is there a 21st century sonnet? A Canadian sonnet? Why has the sonnet persisted, ebullient and lively, after six centuries? How has it renewed poetry and poets? In the 21st Century Canadian Sonnet Studio, we will take a deep dive into as many aspects of the sonnet as we can: a brief history of the sonnet, the techniques of writing them, the sonnet as the classic form of the love poem, the challenge of making the form new in the 21st century.

This sonnet studio is designed for all levels, beginning to advanced. For students who don’t know what a sonnet is, it will provide chances to try the “beginner’s sonnet;” for those who have some familiarity, the studio will offer opportunities to deepen knowledge; and for participants who have been writing sonnets all their lives, Molly Peacock will offer the challenge of writing sonnet crowns. The Sonnet Studio offers an opportunity for supervised writing in class as one paints in a classroom studio as well as workshop discussion.

Workshop 2: Teaching Intuition with Jim Nason
October 10, 12 – 5 p.m.

Canadian poet, Don Domanski, describes intuition as “an unpredictable whisper against the skin, something that defies logic.” In this workshop, writers will explore ways of getting to the creative wonder that is beyond the demands of the intellect. Paradoxically, they will also discover that creativity is not strictly an intuitive process; rather, it involves discipline, research, a willingness to trust the tension between structure and chaos, and a commitment to letting go of preconceived notions of outcome. Aspiring poets will understand the importance of craft, structure, revision, and point of view. Various exercises will illustrate how to enter the poem, surrender to the flow—how to work with words and images to craft a poem that defies and defines logic.

Required Reading: (Handouts will be provided 2 weeks in advance of the workshop.) Don Domanski, “Flying Over Language”; Donald Hall, “The Master”; Gary Short, “Outlines.”

For more information or to enroll, click here: http://tightropebooks.com/workshop-series/

Turkish Delight, Grape Soda & Shakespeare

By Tightrope Books | August 17th, 2009 | Print This Post | Email This Post | Leave a Comment

This weekend was a real treat for me. I was given a copy of Bone Dream to read at my leisure and was awestruck by the beautiful fluidity of the poems and lovely impressionistic writing that raises the human body to an art form.

In my youth I found myself striving, with elongated neck and arms stretched out in an arabesque-like fashion, to transform myself into the finest sculpture, bored as I was with my warm, pulsing body that resisted all efforts at serenity.

My parents handed me volumes of Shakespeare to feed my hunger for visual perfection, thinking the verses would train my imagination in a proper manner. Unfortunately they festooned my mind with visions of my awkwardness brought to light as a source of public amusement, although thankfully, this never grew to be the case.

But what if I had been alive during Shakespeare’s time, and had commissioned him to write verses about me? Would he have picked me up off my haunches and given me a good ribbing? Or would he have sat me delicately on his knee like a sack of potatoes and blown on my forehead, assuring me that despite his greatness, he still had room in his heart for a geek like me, who could prove a worthy challenge for his muse?

I like to think that after feeding me Turkish delight and grape soda, a mutual agreement might have been struck, which might have allowed me to show him how erroneous my physical mannerisms truly were and him to discover, through verse, what ought to be done about them.

Living inside my body is a constant source of affliction. My complaints range from: being unable to prevent myself from laughing when something serious is mentioned; starting to sniffle like crazy when I am around someone who gives me goosebumps; bending my neck with a frenzied rhythm when I am walking down the street and aware that eyes are on me; falling down in high heels at least once a week, usually while crossing an intersection; being nervous to smile in public if I didn’t have time for a lunch-time teeth brushing; worrying I’ll be seen laughing with my puffy eyes; fearing my blinking will cause an accident when I’ve neglected to use eyedrops; trying too hard to make eye contact with a friend whom I’m bent on ignoring; trying too hard to flex my facial muscles into a blank expression, hair frizzies, and so on.

Yet, audiences don’t seem to feel elevated by poems about this stuff. The small audience I showed my poem on this matter to, threatened to sue my ill-fitting jeans off for libelous slander against myself. Not having a lawyer at my disposal, I defended myself by crafting poems for the justice of the peace for the case, pleading sympathy for an afflicted poet with a penchant for lying. All charges were dropped when the plaintiffs realized that therapy sessions would only tease out my muse into greater fornication.

I realize now that maybe the problem wasn’t with my mannerisms … what I really needed were solid poetry workshops to kick my fledgling muse in the groins and eke out some quality turns of phrase.

Any who are inspired by my shortcomings are welcome to attend the workshops with me.

—Annie

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