(Photo caption: Me at the Plasticine Poetry night on June 23rd to hear the lovely and wonderful Lisa de Nikolits read from her brilliant new novel “A Glittering Chaos”)
NEWS and EVENTS:
* My flash fiction piece “Shelter” will be included in the Steel Bananas “Austerity/Touching Double Issue (29/30)” due out this Summer!
* I have been invited to read some of my work at The Beautiful and the Damned on September 12 (details TBA)
* My short story “Of Being Underground and Moving Backwards” will be published in a future issue of Descant
Update – Awaking my Inner Poet:
This past spring I took a poetry class, “Awakening Your Inner Poet”, through the Toronto District School Board with renowned Canadian poet Desi Di Nardo. Up until then, most of my work – and all of my published work – had consisted of short stories, flash fiction and prose. The ability to write poetry seemed like a special, magical gift; I admired poets but had resigned myself to the belief that I would never, and could never, be one of them. However when my sister died, almost 2 years ago, prose failed me. I became one of the “forgotten mourners”, as grieving siblings are often called.
I had no one to talk with about the emotional devastation that losing my sister had caused me – most people were either indifferent, uncomfortable or both. I turned to my pen and notebook but prose could not properly justify the feelings of sadness, shock, horror, anger and, ultimately, intense all-consuming love that shaped my grief. I realized that poetry, with its slippery words and silky dream like power, was the mouth piece that I needed – not just for myself but for other “forgotten mourners”.
Thanks to Desi’s caring support and encouragement and also the warm acceptance of my fellow classmates, I was able to create two pieces of which I am very proud of. One is a spoken word slam poem which I wrote, and performed in class, with my classmate Vivienne. The second is a longer, more tranquil, poem titled “Making Words”. In “Making Words”, I speak directly to my sister, which was a very emotional and transformative experience for me. I did not expect my late father to make an appearance in the poem and yet he does: pondering my experience as a “forgotten mourner” allowed me to explore with empathy how my father, a war veteran, also had no one to talk with about his own difficult experiences in the war; his memories packed away by his mother “in a big box to grow dust.” The poem ended up being a love letter to both my father and my sister. It has not yet been published but I hope to find it a good home soon.
I would highly recommend Desi’s class to anyone who is looking to “awaken their inner poet”.