downloadOnce in a while at random I pull down a book of poetry from the shelf. Like stabbing a finger to a map to choose a chance destination I flip the book open to a random page. Without judgment or censorship, I share what I find there with you.

Today I pulled The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology 2014, at page 98 … Anne Michaels from Correspondences. 

I’d love to hear what you think, your reactions, what feelings or memories the piece evokes.

Sometimes we are led through the doorway
by a child, sometimes
by a stranger, always a matter of grace changing
the past, for if there is anything we must change
it is the past. To look back
and see another map.

Love enough to fill
a shoe, a suitcase, a bit of ink,
a painting, a child’s eyes at the chalkboard,
a bit of chalk, a bit of
bone in ash.

All that is cupped,
all that is emptied

the rush of water from a pump,
a word spelled out
on the palm.

Publisher: The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology 2014, House of Anansi Press
ISBN: 978-1-77089-449-5

Publisher: Correspondences, McClelland & Stewart
ISBN-13: 978-0771056512

Other “Off the Shelf” Selections.


As a new member of the Writers’ Community of Simcoe County I was excited about attending my first monthly meeting this past weekend … as much for spending time with other writers as for the speaker, Lauren Carter (Swarm).

Messages from Lauren

Lauren believes the role of intuition and the sub-conscious in the writing process can be overshadowed by The Rules. Writers need to understand the mechanics of the craft, but stories are so much more than that. We are making art when we write so Lauren recommends we absorb the rules and then don’t focus on them too much. Every story has its own lessons and soul primarily fed by this letting go.

Other points Lauren made that rang true for me:

  • Trust in my own voice and knowledge of writing
  • Accept that the writing feels like crap sometimes
  • Be open to weird, scary, even painful material
  • If I find my writing boring it could be a defence mechanism because I don’t want to go deeper – doing so means I will dwell in confusion and darkness
  • Get out of my own way and let the story build
  • Write from unknowing into knowing
  • Write what I want and need to write NOT what might get published
  • Never be ashamed of my subject … let it surprise me even when I don’t know what’s going on
  • Open my characters to all their complexities
  • The soul in story is related to the questions it asks not the answers

Thank you, Lauren! It was a fabulous and inspiring way to spend a sunny, September afternoon.

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