Thursday, March 04, 2010

Sachiko Murakami: The Toronto New School of Writing

I've been run off my feet this week. After a bout of the stomach illness that seems to be bugging Toronto, and then being hit by a car on Friday (nothing broken but my spirit!), I was laid up and now I'm playing catch up. Today is particularly hectic, and right in the middle of it at 6:30 I'll have my first long-poem workshop with Jay MillAr at the newly formed Toronto New School of Writing.

It seems to be an extension of MillAr's publishing effort BookThug, as the instructors are all BookThug authors: Mark Goldstein, Cara Benson, Angela Carr, Mark Truscott. I'm very excited about it -- pedagogy and avant-garde poetics don't always seem to go hand in hand. I know that when I was on the collective at KSW there was a reluctance to offer writing workshops, for a variety of reasons-- although there we did get a few on the go; Meredith Quartermain did a place-and-writing workshop that I was sadly unable to attend. Many of the KSW writers were/are oriented more towards the university classroom, I suppose. I'm glad TSNOW -- which I am thinking is becoming a Toronto analogue, or at least a vague parallel, to KSW-- is heading in this direction. I've never been a huge fan of the writing workshop, being suspicious of its natural tendencies to guide writing towards consensus, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. In any case, my writing needs a serious kick in the pants. I'm looking forward to the smackdown.

Sachiko Murakami gets hit by Toronto cars. She wrote The Invisibility Exhibit. New poems can be found online at Forget and The Puritan.

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