University of Toronto's Poet in Community

YES the Poet in Community is coming back in 2015-2016

August 31, 2015 · No Comments

I should ask if you know about the Poet in Community. Do you? In case you don’t here’s a quick hit:

The Poet in Community (PIC) program creates a space that’s not as formal as a classroom, or as casual as a cafe. It’s a learning experience without evaluation. There’s no teacher and no boss. In these workshops and conversations, use writing to connect the intellectual with the emotional, the physical and the social.

Don’t be put off by the word “poet” — no special experience is necessary!

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes. — Walt Whitman

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Write Now! — Drop-in writing sessions: 3 x a week, 3 locations @ U of T

January 9, 2015 · 2 Comments

Write Now! 

Do you struggle with finding words to express your experiences? Do you stare at the blank screen with your heart pounding? Would you like a place of self-expression without grades or expectations? Write Now! is a program of free drop-in sessions run by peer mentors, where you can nurture your own voice and creativity through writing and reflection. Groups meet weekly in three locations across campus: the Academic Success Centre, Multi-Faith Centre and Hart House. 

Tuesdays 4:30-6pm at the Multi-Faith Centre
Thursdays 11:30-1pm Hart House
Friday 1:30-3pm Academic Success Centre

Open to University of Toronto students


Write Now! Poster3

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The Conversation Below: Poetry and Qualitative Research

October 15, 2014 · No Comments


The Conversation Below: Poetry and Qualitative Research

A public talk sponsored by The Academic Success Centre, U of T

What are the places that research sometimes doesn’t reach? What are the things people have not yet articulated –– perhaps even to themselves –– that we want to hear and understand and express? What can poetry do? Using poems and reflections, we will investigate the places we get stuck, and our frustrations with language and traditional methods of research. And we will look at the potential for poetry to unleash us: to say, hear and share the knowledge we’re after. This presentation will be part talk, part poem and part writing so that we may use all channels possible to get to the conversation below.


Wednesday October 15, 2014

Peace Lounge, 7th Floor, OISE

252 Bloor St. West



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Poet in Community returns with RX for Poetry

September 2, 2014 · No Comments

Poet in Community returns for 2014-2015 with RX FOR POETRY —

How are you feeling? Do you need a dose of Emily Dickinson? 75 mg of Mary Oliver?

On September 9, 2014 between 1:30-2:30pm, I will be at the Hart House tent talking to people and prescribing poems at the St. George Street Fair.

Come by and get a poetry prescription for what ails you.

St. George Street between Harbord and College
at the Hart House tent

photo 2

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While we’re here

July 2, 2014 · No Comments

So we’re deep into summer and Poet in Community is quietly planning for fall. The leaves and flowers of the season have been mostly doing their thing without me. (I watch and water as needed.) But writing may need more help.

To that end, Poet in Community is partnering with Academic Success, the Multi-Faith Centre, Hart House and various instrumental folks across the spectrum to bring new kinds of poetry infiltration to the university.

Central among these is a plan for weekly creative writing drop-ins, run by peer mentors, to be held in several hubs across campus. Stay tuned for how to apply if you’re interested in being a mentor. The program is called: “Write Now.”

Also, I will be setting up the Spontaneous Poetry Booth again in September and October, I’ll give a talk on the use of poetry in qualitative research, and I’ll occasionally join the mentors at their hubs to offer workshops too.

There is more brewing. I just wanted to let you know that we are gone for now but not gone to sleep. Summer well.


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Collecting Our Thoughts Through Poetry

April 28, 2014 · No Comments

Collecting Our Thoughts Through Poetry: A Celebration of the Poet in Residence Program at Mount Sinai Hospital

On the last day of National Poetry Month come to a celebration of poetry with participants from all over the hospital. MSH staff, volunteers, students and physicians will be sharing their experiences, reflections and poems. Tea and scones will be served. All attendees will receive a copy of the chapbook: Take as Needed: Poems and Reflections from the Halls, Coffee Shops, Board Rooms and Waiting Rooms of Mount Sinai Hospital.

Wednesday April 30, 3:30-4:30 pm

Mount Sinai Hospital, 18th floor Auditorium, 600 University Avenue


Everyone welcome.

Have a look here for more information about this event and the Poet in Residence Program.

Collecting Our Thoughts Through Poetry_Email Invitation

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Finding Your Balance

February 13, 2014 · 2 Comments

Finding Your Balance
A series of workshops to restore and explore balance

Finding balance in university and in life is like finding balance on a bicycle. It’s not something you do with your mind; nor is it something you do once. It’s something you keep finding and correcting as the terrain changes. This is true of any activity: being on a boat, in a car, on your feet, in your life. Everything changes. How do you go forward?

Use writing to look at the geography of your terrain: where you are, when you need to shift gears, where you’re stuck, when you fall, and what it’s like when you’re on the ride.

February 27: Rocking the Boat and Other Reasons We Don’t Ask For What We Want
March 6: Taking Your Whole Self To School
March 13: Writing Your Way Out of A Paper Bag

No special writing experience necessary.

When: Thursdays, February 27th, March 6th and 13th | 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Where: Hart House


Finding Your Balance:PiC

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A Place to Be

January 31, 2014 · No Comments

If you’d like a place for writing, mindfulness, and quiet, this might be it. An hour and a half with a few poems, a few muffins, a meditation, and no expectation. Led by Cheryl Champagne, who offers Mindful Mondays at CAPS, and Ronna Bloom, Poet in Community, this one-off event is for anyone who needs it.


Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

Tuesday February 4, 2014
Career Centre Seminar Room

Register here.

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Emotions, Emoticons….A brand new series starts in January

December 16, 2013 · No Comments

Emotions, Emoticons and Feeling Your Way Through University

We take in new learning through what we hear, study and experience, and things shift: we’re ‘moved’. But what do you do with feelings that arise? Do you send them in a text or write them into an essay? In this series, through writing and investigative mapmaking, explore how feelings shape and bring life to learning.

Wednesdays January 29, February 5, 12, 2014


Seminar Room, Career Centre

 ☻ ☻ ☹  ☻ ☻ ☹  ☻ ☻ ☻ ☹ ☻ ☻ ☻ ☻ ☹

Register here. 


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In Memory of Nelson Mandela

December 6, 2013 · No Comments

Truth and Reconciliation

Our country chose a middle way

                        of individual amnesty for truth.

–– Archbishop Desmond Tutu


This man knows something
about healing. That the heart
must be torn open again
in front of compassionate witnesses.
That the accused must also step up
and reveal themself.
That no matter how high-pitched
the shrieks, how barren
the voice, everything must be
heard, everything must be
held, in the same room.

©Ronna Bloom
Personal Effects
Pedlar Press, 2000

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