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"No matter what they wish for, no matter where they go, people can never be anything but themselves." 

Haruki Murakami


1PM - 4PM

Gertrude's Writing Room

Led by Margo Wheaton & Vanessa Shields

$60.00 - includes light snacks, journal, pen, copy of Margo's collection of poetry 'Rags of Night in Our Mouths'


In this poetry workshop, we will explore the muse that is our relationships with people, and how poetry is a meeting place for our experiences with others. From family and friends to passersby, to those we know and those we don't, to those we've lost and to those we love – writing poetry about our relationships with people is an everlasting muse!

Workshop Breakdown


LEARN - We will begin with a lesson on writing poetry about people, using examples of different types of poetry with 'people' as the main theme. We will learn ways to 'enter into' poetry through our diverse experiences with people in our lives as well as ourselves. The connections we make with each other and our interactions are integral to our lived experience as humans. We will embrace the myriad ways we can connect with each other and read poetry that expresses these experiences. 

WRITE - We will write poetry about people through guided timed-writing exercises as well as prompts to help us 'meet' people in poetry. 

SHARE - We will share the poems we write in the workshop, discovering our processes and offering gentle feedback.



Margo will be joining us via Zoom from Halifax, Nova Scotia!

Margo Wheaton is an award-winning poet and editor and is the author of Rags of Night in Our Mouths (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2022). She lives and writes in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the traditional and ancestral territory of the Mi’kmaq.


Her debut poetry collection The Unlit Path Behind the House (McGill-Queen’s, 2016) won the Fred Kerner Award (Canadian Authors’ Association) for Book of the Year and the Alfred G. Bailey Award from the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick. It was also shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award, the J.M. Abraham Award, the Fred Cogswell Award for Literary Excellence, and the Relit Award.

Margo holds a Masters degree in English and a Certificate in Adult Education, both from Dalhousie University. Her essays and book reviews have appeared in a number of publications, including The Fiddlehead, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, the Guernica Series on Writers, Pottersfield Portfolio, The Antigonish Review and The Coast.

Her poetry has appeared in magazines and literary journals across the country including The Literary Review of Canada, The Antigonish Review, Event, The Fiddlehead, The New Quarterly, Prairie Fire, and Prism International. Her poems have been set to choral music and performed at the University of Toronto.



  • Email Vanessa at

  • Write in the subject line: Poetry About People

  • Please include your contact information

  • Please include any dietary restrictions

  • Please confirm payment type (e-transfer, cash, credit/debit

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