November 11

Poking Yourself in the Eye: Masks and Personae

A workshop with one of the upcoming poet talents out of Ottawa for an exploration of characters, personae, masks and other distancing devices.

JM Francheteau

Local poet and zinester, and current Arc Reviews Editor.
November 25


JM Francheteau

Local poet and zinester, and current Arc Reviews Editor.
December 9


Marilyn Irwin

Author of the three chapbooks and winner of the 2013 Diana Brebner Prize
January 13

Our lives of no interest: Memoir and confession in poetry

A workshop that explores writing the personal, crafting the confessional, and infusing ourselves and our lives into our work.

Brecken Hancock

Brecken's first poetry collection, Broom Broom, has been published in 2014 to great reviews.

More about Tree Seed Workshops


Since 2009, Tree has been offering a series of one-hour poetry workshops to take a closer look into poetry, techniques, forms and close reads of particular poems. They are free to anyone who wishes to attend. They are held in the usual Tree venue between 6:45 and 7:45 on regular Tree evenings, with doors opening at 6:30. Bring a pen and paper. 


Facilitators coming in 2015 include Brecken Hancock and Susan Gillis.



PAST Sessions


Peter Richardson and John Steffler  roundtabled poems of participants, Sylvia Adams led a workshop on salvaging a problem poem, Stephen Brockwell on French-Canadian poetry including Saint -Denys Barneau, Claude Gauvreau, Gaston Miron, Paul Marie Lapointe, Nicole Brossard and more, Luminita Suse on tanka, the form and history, related forms and contemporary practice, Frances Boyle on Open Sesame and Ariadne's Thread/using forms to get to wild mind, Phil Jenkins on readability, Jenna Tenn-Yuk on negotiating the complexities of your identity & on facing fears, Pierre Brault on comparison of lessons & practice in poetry vs. stand-up comedy, Jennifer Pederson  on how to use different kinds of mics and your voice,   Bruce Taylor on using sound's power of euphony and cacophony looking at close reads from Edith Sitwell to Charles Olsen, Stephen Morrissey to Mary Oliver, Louis Dudek to Derek Walcott, and a look at nonsense and riddle verse, Claudia Radmore on linking and shifting the tone and content in renga, Jenny Sampirisi on hybrid texts that cross genres looking at Beckett, Cixous, Anne Carson and John Cage, John Koengen on stage presence, using your breath, being in your body, Gwynn Scheltema with an intro to OULIPO such as The N + 7 Exercise and homophonic translation, Brandon Wint on imagery and sensuality, Christine McNair on the material of books: how to choose paper and the group doing a few bindings, Stuart Ross on poem techniques after Joe Brainard, Bruce Kauffman on guided stream of consciousness, Cathy MacDonald-Zytveld with 10 writing prompts and exercise with projecting your voice, Jeff Latosik on switching the POV of classic poems; Alfred Lord Tennyson's "The Lotus Eaters" made contemporary, Lesley Strutt roundtabling a discussion of the challenges of translating poetry, Jay Millar on the long poem with examples of Christopher Dewdney and others in The New Long Poem Anthology,  Brenda Leifso doing how-poems-work in magical realism, Ian Keteku with exercises to extend a metaphor and finding fresh phrasings, Monty Reid on the connection between place and poetry, mapping and the muse, making a poetry map of Ottawa,  Robin Macdonald on yoga body/mind listening in finding your direction as a poet, Roland Prevost round tabling our motivations for writing, LM Rochefort on the bilingual poem, Imagistes, cut up poetry, collage poetry and techniques for projecting your voice, Guy Simser on tanka's developments overseas and in North America, Barbara Myers on pov; alienated insiders or as outsiders wanting in, and close reads of poems to consider syntax work for you, Ikenna Onyegbula teaching strucure and memory techniques in spoken word, Terry Ann Carter on glosas of women writers, Akiko Yosano, beat poets including Gary Snyder, and using found text, Cameron Anstee looking at the personal poem and the list poem with examples from Frank O'Hara, Ted Berrigan and Jim Smith, Mike Buckthought on ancient Greek epigrams, Glenn Kletke on stanza types and effects of line breaks and stanza breaks on sense, Phil Hall on triptychs and roundtabling poems, Sandra Ridley on linear vs. oblique and risk vs. silence, rob mclennan on writing from language and from other writers from PENN sound, Claudia Coutu Radmore on the beauty of juxtaposition and a look at senryu, and Ronnie R Brown on using line and stanza breaks to enhance your poetry, and on finding an effective title and Pearl Pirie  on frames of poetic values, sestinas, combining the material of disparate poems, use of space & punctuation, and rhythm.




The sessions provide a time and space for people  to talk about poetic practice and techniques, a close read of how poems can work, why poetry works and how to present ideas.


The time can deepen each participant's foundations and widen the explorations of our poetry community to become better readers, writers and editors.


Developing organically, each facilitator acts as a unique catalyst, bringing a special angle and passion on craft and practice in poetry. Most provide examples and/or exercises for the focus subject, technique, poet or poetry school. Some are hands-on. Some sessions are presenter-presentations. Some session are time for getting more eyes on a piece brought in to share or made in the time (with safe group feedback).  If you have someone you would like to hear or something you would like to hear about, contact attention: Pearl Pirie.




We're looking for feedback on how we've been doing. As someone who has attended a Tree Seed Workshop would you like to fill in the 10-question survey?
It should take no more than 5 minutes.