Posts Tagged ‘Thursdays Writing Collective’



Our pilot project is celebrating a culmination on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 7pm at Vancouver’s Roundhouse Community Centre. Four writing groups – UBC Law students, 2011 Writer’s Studio members, Write Club Literary Mamas and Thursdays Writing Collective are uniting for the first time. We have written together one-on-one and read on double bills throughout the spring but this will be the night all the groups and participants hear each other’s writing and reconnect. Join us!


Thanks to the City of Vancouver, Canada Council, Roundhouse Community Centre and Poetry is Dead for their support.




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Join us for the eighth Thursdays Writing Collective course beginning February 3, 2011. We meet Thursdays from 2-4pm in the Carnegie Centre until June 9. The first two classes will have to do with Chinese New Year and the Year of the Rabbit.  We have been invited to post our written work on the Vancouver Community  Arts Council website. Stay tuned for a more detailed schedule of events.

Thursdays Editing Collective members will be on hand throughout the spring to meet one on one directly after class to offer feedback on work produced in and around class.

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Our last class of 2010 is this week, December 9. We start again on February 3, 2011.

This has been a fruitful, exciting course with many new members of the Collective.

Thank you to the guest authors who visited us, beginning with poet Fiona Lam in October. Fiona took us through revision stages of her own work, candidly sharing her drafts so we could have a sense of her editing process. She also generously brought copies of her second book, Enter the Chrysanthemum, and gave a copy to each participant.

George McWhirter and his wife Angela Mairead Coid visted next. George read pieces focussing on the topic of sound, which we had delved into the previous  preparation. Angela read her own beautiful response piece to Collective member James McLean’s poem “Creative Thinking” about growing up in poverty in Scotland (see below). Before class George presided at the inauguration of the Downtown Eastside Literary Collection in the Carnegie Branch of the Vancouver Public Library.

Cathleen With was our next visitor. She came laden with literary journals and fantastic ideas about writing in the voices of our younger selves, our friends and even people we have not met. Cathleen led us in some writing prompts using Diane Arbus’ work and then graciously donated the photo book to the Collective for our future use. Cathleen also inscribed copies of “Skids” and “Having Faith in the Polar Girls Prison” for our petite Thursdays Writing Collective library.

Our last guest of the year, Michael Turner, discussed his own process of engagement via a three piece text on Malcolm Lowry he wrote for the  Capilano Review. The pieces are based on Lowry’s own syntax and form as in letters published in the Vancouver Sun. Michael introduced us to the concept of “wordsquatting,” or “kicking out the words of the author and putting in your own.” Using a verse from his first book, “Company Town,” we did that with Michael, on the spot. This concept of squatting in someone else’s text is one we will be returning to, not only for its political ramifications, but also because of the incredible creative possibility.

Michael’s writing prompt from his visit, begun with his sentence, “The sun rose like a headless pair of shoulders,” is on his blog dated the day after his visit, Dec 3, 2010.

In February we will be putting into practice the techniques and concepts these amazing writers shared with us. Thursdays Writing Collective is beginning a pilot project, The Writers Caravan, where we invite writing groups from across the city to come to Carnegie and write with us. Each group will then do a public reading with us on a shared slate in their neck of the woods. Our hope is to cross pollinate with other literary communities and to increase the creative options for all involved. In culmination we will be holding a celebratory reading and party in June and producing a publication from this collaboration with the three or four visiting writing groups. If you are interested in participating, please contact Elee Kraljii Gardiner at thursdayseditor@telus.net.


AN EARLY LIT FIRE (for James McLean)


Angela Mairéad Coid


There is no heat in the house.  Coal is rationed by the government and not cheap when your father is “on the sick”. A fire is set in the fireplace, but this altar to warmth won’t be lit before 5 o’clock.  Until then, the adults warm themselves with cups of tea, and the smokers warm their hands around a cigarette’s glow.

There is no heat in the house. In spite of a vest, woollen jumper and cardigan, cold wraps itself around your middle like an overpowering cummerbund. You do your homework with the dog on your feet. The cat warms your mother’s lap. Upstairs in the bedrooms is a quiet place to study, but cold rules there. Children sleep with the pets, and parents have each other. On bitter nights, overcoats are thrown over the beds. Blankets are thin and scarce.


In the west, they burn peat cut from the bogs. In Belfast on the Old Lodge Road they say the tenants strip the wood, the banisters and the doors, to burn and chase away the penetrating cold from the dirt-floored, terrace houses.

“Then they do a midnight flit to another house.” Or so the story goes.


There is no heat in the house.  We live near the beach in a little town.

Last night there was a terrible storm. My eldest married sister brings news of bounty on the beach. Coal from the shifting cargo of colliers has washed up.

The women grab their shopping bags and the children old school bags. We pass the neighbours’ houses as if taking a healthy walk to the seashore, dogs delirious in the wind from the Lough. The golden sand has patches of black.  We collect as many nuggets as we can respectably carry.  Tomorrow it might be washed back out to sea, but tonight the fire will be lit early.


Heat in the house.




Angela Mairéad Coid was born and educated In Northern Ireland, and has published in Ireland and Canada. Her work has most recently appeared in Canadian Women Studies: Women of Ireland, Boyne Berries, Ireland and in The Antigonish Review, who kindly nominated that story for the 2009 Journey Prize.

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The Thursdays Writing Collective  participated in the Cultural Olympiad at the art installation “The Candahar,” on Sunday, Feb 21, 2-4pm, at Playwrights Theatre Centre on Granville Island.

For two weeks, The Candahar was a locus for social interaction and the host site for an ambitious series of events — musical programs, theatrical presentations, performances and dialogues, both scripted and unscripted — curated by Winnipeg artist Paul Butler and Vancouver author Michael Turner (Hard Core Logo).

The name “Candahar” refers to the original location of the now defunct Blackthorn Bar in Belfast pub. Irish artist Theo Sims recreated the bar in Granville Island’s Playwright Theatre. Part sculpture, part theatrical stage, The Candahar was an artwork that also functioned as a bar, open to the public and staffed, in collaboration with two Belfast bartenders who were unscripted performers. The project fused the authentic with fantasy, spectacle with stage, and acted as a catalyst for conversation, debate and dialogue — and a pint here or there.

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Join us on Thursday, November 5, 2009 2-4pm, in the third floor classroom of the Carnegie Centre at Hastings and Main Streets in Vancouver, to hear guest speaker and poet Fiona Tinwei Lam.

Fiona will read from her new book of poetry Enter the Chrysanthemum, lead writing prompts and discuss the writing life.   Everyone is welcome.

Fiona Tinwei Lam’s work has been published in literary magazines  across Canada (The New Quarterly, The Antigonish Review, Room, Prism International, The Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, Grain, CV2, Event, Canadian Literature, Descant among others) and in over a dozen anthologies (Canada, U.S. and Hong Kong). Her work has also appeared on CBC Radio and in The Globe & Mail.  Her first book of poetry, Intimate Distances was a finalist for the Vancouver Book Award.  She is a co-editor of and contributor to the anthology, Lives: Writing and Mothering, published by McGill-Queens University Press. Her latest book of poetry is Enter the Chrysanthemum. More information is available on the author’s website: http://fionalam.net/

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SFU and the Thursdays Writing Collective present an editing workshop with writer Joanne Arnott

The workshop will be held in three sessions- Nov 3, 10, 17, 2009
Tuesdays 4pm-6pm in the third floor classroom at the Carnegie Community Centre.

Please sign up in office, limit: 20 people, residents of the Downtown Eastside given first dibs. Contact Elee at thursdayseditor@telus.net with questions.

Nov 3 – Common trip-ups in spelling and punctuation
Nov 10 – Copyediting: how to polish your work line by line
Nov 17 – Substantive editing: how to track the big ideas in a piece of writing

All writers need to polish their work, no matter how talented they are. This special three-week workshop will teach you how to identify and deal with soft spots in your work. Discover when to let go of your work and move on and how to approach all of these with a happy heart.

Participants will come away with an understanding of how to edit their own, and others’, work, and a wider sense of the sorts of requests editors might make in different publishing situations. Please bring questions, pen and paper.

Métis/mixed blood writer Joanne Arnott has published six books and a chapbook, including Mother Time & Steepy Mountain: love poetry and Breasting the Waves: On Writing & Healing. She won the Gerald Lampert Award for her first book, Wiles of Girlhood (Press Gang) and has been a literary performer and publishing poet since the mid-1980’s. She has published in the Carnegie Newsletter and co-edited the Four Sisters Housing Newsletter with Peter Chau. Joanne has given writing workshops across much of Canada, and in Australia. Mother to five sons and one daughter, all born at home, she lives with her four youngest children in Richmond.

Brought to you by SFU and the Thursdays Writing Collective

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