Sunday, March 6, 2016

Piper was Electric (at the Regent Park School of Music)

One of my students wrote that. "Piper was electric." And again I am reminded why these teaching "gigs" (fun to call them gigs!) are wonderful and so important to me. In our final two hour session at The Regent Park School of Music Amani and I wrote, listened and shared work alongside the students and each other. I had my tiny slips of paper with me. We read three different versions of a poem I wrote called Little Boy, Running. Amani read a prose piece and then performed another version of the same piece set to music. We explored the relationship between sound and meaning; memory and association. Piper was electric she wrote. Don't be a mirror, on his torn sheet of lined paper. I don't know if you can call it a poem. I don't know if it's good enough. Will you read us one line, Amani asks. Just one word, then? And even the student who is silent seems to be sharing a smile with us all in the room; a smile the size of sky in winter. That's what poetry does.
electric, winter, stranger?
Regent Park Wall of Sky
Ten Smiles at 4:58pm on a Sunday
Trumpet Window Poem

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

As I lose myself in the hearts of certain children

It's a pleasure to be back at The Regent Park School of Music to conduct poetry workshops with a small handful of students aged 11-17. This time around I am lucky to be collaborating with another poet, Anne-Marie Woods (Amani), who is also a playwright, singer, actor, arts advocate and entrepreneur.
Shannon and Amani, post workshop!
Our first workshop took place this past Sunday and included warm-up games, writing exercises, discussion and sharing. Two highlights for me: Amani's performance of a poem for the students and the beautiful sharing of work that took place near the end of our two hours together. Amani and I will be meeting with the students again in February 2016 and in the meantime connecting with them online to support further writing and the completion of two poems which will then be used to inspire musical compositions by professional composers. Thank you, RPSM, for welcoming poetry and supporting collaborative work among artists and students alike.
fragments of Lorca and Anne Carson, used in a generative writing exercise

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Play Me, I'm Yours: Poetry at the Regent Park School of Music

In these sessions we will explore the beauty and mystery of metaphorical language, the alchemy of voice and the drama of language. Maybe words can take us to worlds beyond our knowing?  No experience necessary. Lyricism welcome.
Play Me, I'm Yours

Pain is a little girl in red.

We read Jack Gilbert, Gwen MacEwen, Robyn Schiff & more...

Monday, July 14, 2014

just a little broken: a poetry workshop for mothers

Please join Toronto playwright/poet, Shannon Bramer, for an afternoon of reading and writing poems that explore the complexity of motherhood, the beauty and strangeness of children and the amazing capacity of ordinary language to uncover, document and celebrate the depths of our experience as parents and caregivers. A variety of poetic voices and styles will be introduced and we'll also have time to create poems (or the beginnings of poems!) together. This workshop is ideal for any mom who sees poetry in her children and/or simply likes to write stuff down. No creative writing experience required. Space is limited to 7 participants.

Fee: $75 / $60 if you register with Shannon before August 1st!
Date: Sunday August 24th from 1-5pm
          Location: 406 Pacific Avenue (Toronto) @ The Oxford Learning Centre
Includes: seasonal refreshments and a copy of the The Refrigerator Memory by workshop instructor, Shannon Bramer.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Dancers Write!

I love conducting poetry workshops with dancers! Thank you, Laurie Raymond, and The Creative Children's Dance Centre for bringing me on as your poet-in-residence.