Tag Archives: Lake Winnipeg Writers’ Group

It’s Still Snowing Poetry – Windsor, Winnipeg, London, Toronto, Gimli…

“Each safe landing/on snow-dusted stage/whistled, applauded” –Debbie Okun Hill* 

Here on Canada’s southern edge, Ms. Frosty has curled her toes and postponed her arrival. I yearn to be outdoors in this oven-warm weather planting bulbs in my neglected word gardens. Instead, I pace inside my office where I can bear-ly, barely see the bottom of my desk. Event posters, poetic notes accumulate like paper snowflakes! Half-finished manuscripts and projects remain buried beneath more white clutter. I used to be so organized, well, before the birth of my first book, before I started blogging, before social media took over.

Only in Canada! A snowstorm outside Jasper, Alberta during the Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour's 2015 April is Poetry Month Celebration!

Only in Canada! A snowstorm outside Jasper, Alberta during the Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour’s National Poetry Month Celebration, April 2015!

Today, a snatched photo (an image of a bear) captured during a freak snowstorm last April outside Jasper, Alberta reminds me of the Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour and other travel stories that could be told if I wasn’t still travelling, if I wasn’t juggling other writing projects, if I wasn’t eating or sleeping.

 IN WINDSOR:

Thursday, November 12, 2015 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Thursday, November 12, 2015 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

Often, a writer’s journey takes many detours and like the weather, you can either fight it or have fun and roll like a snowball. Tomorrow I’m off on another adventure. Hope to lasso the sun but will bring an umbrella just in case. Wish me luck!

In the meantime, below are some notices and posters that friends have shared with me. More blogs, more stories, and more poems I’d like to write. Mark your calendars and if you are a poetry fan wandering through Canada, I hope you will support some of these poetic events.

Safe travels everyone!!

IN WINNIPEG, MANITOBA:

The Lake Winnipeg Writers’ Group (LWWG) will launch Voices, Volume 15 Number 2, Sunday, November 15, 2 pm at McNally Robinson Booksellers, Winnipeg. Launch details here and LWWG info here.

IN LONDON, CANADA:

POETRY LONDON presents Victoria’s Karen Enns and Nick Thran from Calgary. Wednesday, November 18, 167 Wortley Rd., London, ON Pre-reading workshop at 6:30pm The reading begins at 7:30pm  Admission is free. Addition info here.

Workshop starts at 6:30 p.m. Reading begins at 7:30 p.m.

Workshop starts at 6:30 p.m. Reading begins at 7:30 p.m.

IN TORONTO:

Sarnia poet James Deahl will be in Toronto Wednesday, November 18, 2015 to launch his latest book

Sarnia poet James Deahl will be in Toronto Wednesday, November 18, 2015 to launch his latest book

IN GIMLI, MANITOBA:

November 18, 2015 in Gimli, Manitoba

November 18, 2015 in Gimli, Manitoba

*Quote from a new manuscript in progress. Used with permission by the author ©Debbie Okun Hill, 2015

NOTE: Poetry London event poster was added on November 13, 2015 after the original posting.

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Writers’ VOICES in Winnipeg Beach, Manitoba

A sail’s triangular tongue banters with the rocks. Waves toss thoughts and fragmented sentences against a sandy shore. I concentrate on the shared words. In this resort community known as Winnipeg Beach, each sound, each scent, each writer’s voice matters.

That’s one of several treasured lessons I penned into my notebook while attending the May 20th workshop of the Lake Winnipeg Writers’ Group.

In solitude, listen to the voices in the trees.

In solitude, listen to the voices in the trees.

As a stranger, I wasn’t sure what to expect at this gathering but I inhaled the fresh air of an opened window and smiled as each writer entered the room. We met inside a quaint cottage adorned with original Manitoba art and we sat in a circle like friends telling stories around a crackling campfire. This casual atmosphere definitely enhanced the exchange of literary voices and chatter.

Winnipeg Beach is a resort community nestled along the south shores of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada.

Winnipeg Beach is a resort community nestled along the south shores of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada.

Richard, the only male in attendance, started the evening by reading chapter 13 of his novel in progress. His writing flowed smooth like beer from a bottle and soon his main character was faced with the discovery of a dead friend. His addition of believable dialogue kept the story moving. I enjoyed his use of sounds: “bang the lid”, “cough, cough”, and “clanging noises”. A lively discussion followed with other writers in the room offering suggestions and words of encouragement.

I relaxed and settled deeper into the soft folds of the couch.

One by one, we shared our work, sometimes pausing to sip tea or nibble on an offering of homemade cake or a slice of juicy watermelon. Ruth read her submission to the Contemporary Verse2 Two-Day Poem Contest, Olive shared a technical piece written for an educational market. Jeanne read a character sketch. Helme presented an ekphrastic poem based on an artist’s manipulated photograph. Tyra shared a sci-fi piece while Linda read a shocking short story about a woman involved with a male character who had eyes “the colour of blue jeans”.

Gathered at the May 2015 Lake Winnipeg Writers’ Group workshop: (back row, left to right) Ruth Matlow Asher, Olive MacKay, Linda Lafontaine (2nd place winner, Adult Fiction Category “Write On the Lake” LWWG Writing Contest) and Tyra Masters-Heinrichs (Publications Director); (front row) Jeanne Gougeon (President), Helma Rogge Rehders, and Richard Koreen (Treasurer).

Gathered at the May 2015 Lake Winnipeg Writers’ Group workshop: (back row, left to right) Ruth Matlow Asher, Olive MacKay, Linda Lafontaine (2nd place winner, Adult Fiction Category “Write On the Lake” LWWG Writing Contest) and Tyra Masters-Heinrichs (Publications Director); (front row) Jeanne Gougeon (President), Helma Rogge Rehders, and Richard Koreen (Treasurer).

After focusing on poetry for over a decade, I welcomed the variety of genres with each writer presenting his or her own style. Sometimes when our feedback crossed the line, we were reminded to respect the writer’s voice and to not influence our writing style onto someone else.

Voices showcases the work of many talented writers. It is produced twice a year with the help of volunteers from the Lake Winnipeg Writers’ Group.

Voices showcases the work of many talented writers. It is produced biannually with the help of volunteers from the Lake Winnipeg Writers’ Group.

What a magical moment to have met such a warm community of gifted writers. I thought about my friend who gave me a Special Edition copy of Voices in December 2012 and who encouraged me to become familiar with the Manitoba authors who published in this biannual anthology. At first I hesitated to contact the group, but years later when my schedule took me to this Canadian prairie province, I decided to venture out.

I still recall the muffled hum of van tires as I travelled north along Highway 8 towards cottage country. A storm had passed through the area a few days earlier. Ditches swelled with run-off and rainwater. A chorus of frogs serenaded me into the Winnipeg Beach area. Their voices were loud yet inviting as if these amphibians sensed my unease as I inched my way towards the meeting location. What was I doing here?

Like a sail’s triangular tongue bantering with the rocks.

Like a sail’s triangular tongue bantering with the rocks.

Arriving over an hour early, I drove passed the workshop location and parked my car along the beach where two fishermen cradled fishing lines beside the dock.

I took a deep breath, listened to the waves splash beneath my shoes as a sail boat glided along Lake Winnipeg.

Writers sometimes speak about the muse or hearing voices in their heads. I’m glad my inner voice nudged me towards this group. I hope many of the members will stay in touch.

As Ruth Matlow Asher, co-editor of a previous issue of Voices wrote: “Sincere thanks…to you, reader, without you our voices are not heard.”*

We are more than twigs along the shore.

We are more than twigs along the shore.

May we all find the courage to share our unique writing styles and may we appreciate those writers’ groups and readers who support us in our literary goals.

For more information about the Lake Winnipeg Writers’ Group, check out their website here.

Introducing Voices, Volume 15 Number 1….

Introducing Voices, Volume 15 Number 1….

For more information about Voices: Journal of the Lake Winnipeg Writers’ Group, see here. Volume 15, Number 1 was launched Sunday, May 3, 2015 at McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

For more information about the group’s past and future contests open to all writers see here.

Visit here for more information about the community of Winnipeg Beach.

This resort area also houses many artists. Several will be participating in the 14th Annual WAVE Interlake Artists’ Studio Tour to be held on two weekends: June 13 to 14 and September 5 to 6. For more information, check their website here.

*This quote by Ruth Matlow Asher appears in Voices, Journal of the Lake Winnipeg Writers’ Group, Special Edition, Volume Eleven, Number One, an anthology she co-edited with Richard Koreen in 2010-2011.