University of Toronto's Poet in Community

Entries from October 2010

Writing Your Way Out of A Paper Bag

October 27th, 2010 · 1 Comment

The Mount Sinai Program in
Narrative and Healthcare Humanities
University of Toronto
Poet in Community Program
Writing Your Way Out of a Paper Bag
With Ronna Bloom
This workshop focuses on using writing as a tool to explore where people are stuck, and help unstick them. It includes a talk about blocks, frustrations and the tactics we use to avoid/deal with situations. Participants engage in writing exercises designed to open the experience, let some air in, see what’s there, and perhaps show the possibility of new directions. (This is done in a creative, non-didactic way and it doesn’t promise to solve anything!  It’s meant to be fun.)
Ronna Bloom is a poet, teacher and psychotherapist. She has published four books of poetry, most recently Permiso (Pedlar Press, 2009) shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award. Ronna has hosted workshops across Canada and abroad. She has designed and led writing workshops for health care professionals at UHN, students at the Medical School of U of T, Occupational Therapists’ and Social Workers’ professional development retreats, and front-line hospital workers at Sunnybrook who were affected by SARS. She is currently Poet in Community at the University of Toronto.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
60 Murray Street
3rd Floor – Classroom A
Mount Sinai Hospital
Brown Paper Bag – BYOL
(RSVP to or 416-586-4800 ext. 8325)

Tags: Info · Workshops

Eating the Dark

October 25th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Eating the Dark

I walk upstairs with you
into the dark
and you feel safe,
not right away, but, eventually
you become the dark.
You put it on
like a coat. You eat it
like a bar of chocolate.
Or you spit it out.
It is yours, this
dark to explore
get to know. Look
under the bed
or into the cupboard.
Close your eyes in the dark.
I am there,
even when I’m not,
so are you.

—– Ronna Bloom, January 14, 2010 at the Spontaneous Poetry Booth.

Victoria Littman, who worked at Accessibility Services, died on October 11, 2010. She asked me to write a poem for her son who was scared of the dark. This poem is sent out in her memory.

Tags: Info · Poem of the minute

The Soul’s Tongue

October 15th, 2010 · No Comments

The Soul’s Tongue

Four TuesdaysOct 19, 26, November 2, & 9
Multi-Faith Centre, 3rd Fl, 569 Spadina Ave

What is the language of the soul? Does it speak? Do we speak to it? Of it? We will write from the fuzzy, vague, loaded, alive energy of words like, “soul”, “sacred”, “spiritual”, and “holy”. What could they mean at the University? If we avoid these words, where do they belong? Using the writing of others as a springboard, see what wants to speak, what this language points to, and what, if anything, it has to do with your work and life. Limited number of participants. Registration required at the Multi-Faith Centre.

Tags: Info · Workshops

BONE HINGED the first chapbook of poetry by author and publisher Beth Follett to be launched

October 12th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Presented by The Hart House Literary & Library Committee

On Thursday, October 14th, 2010 Beth Follett, a Toronto-based writer and owner of Pedlar Press, will launch her first chapbook, Bone Hinged. The event will take place in the Hart House Library starting at 7:30 pm and will feature readings from the new work and Beth’s experience as a Canadian publisher.

Beth Follett

Beth Follett

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A poem from the booth

October 11th, 2010 · No Comments

One more poem from The Spontaneous Poetry Booth. It was requested by a recent grad.

To Start Me Off

I am thirsty for something
but I don’t now what it is.
It has no numbers and I don’t think it costs a lot
but I could be wrong.
I want a flavor I am missing.
There is a parched place that needs a spring.
I need a bit of heart to feed my business self.
I need to speak in the language of my home.
I need to find the words, the sounds, the squawks to speak.
I need a poem to start me off,

Tags: Info · Poem of the minute

Workshops Galore

October 4th, 2010 · No Comments

You are welcome to register for any of these workshops:

Connecting Up: Dreams, Values, Learning and Family Life
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Presented in partnership with the Office of Family Care.


Autobiography: The Urge to Write, The Fear of Writing, and
One Afternoon To Do It

Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Presented in conjunction with Hart House and the Hancock Lecture


The Soul’s Tongue

Four Tuesdays beginning October 19, 2010
Presented with the Multi-Faith Centre

For details and how to register for any of the above, go here.

Tags: Info · Workshops

Poet in Community @ The Spontaneous Poetry Booth

October 4th, 2010 · 1 Comment

At the Spontaneous Poetry Booths in September over 20 poems were written and almost $40 raised for the U of T food bank. Poems were written on the spot in response to requests. People were generous with their money and themselves. Here’s one of the poems that emerged on the subject of change.


Inside, the furniture has shifted
and I don’t know
where the chairs are. I don’t
know what’s happened to the
refrigerator but it’s not
where it used to be. All my cutlery
is on the wall like decorations
all my jewelery is displayed
I have landed in another country
of the body
heart and house
and I am here
still looking around
just beginning.

Tags: Info · Poem of the minute