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Please join us for a very unique poetry workshop on the form of Ghazal poetry.

Featuring Halifax poet Margo Wheaton and Vanessa Shields, we will learn about the history of this beautiful form of poetry as well as contemporary examples – then we’ll write ghazals!


This in an in-person workshop.

About the Workshop

Ghazals have been called “the poem of contrasts, dreams, astonishing leaps.”

Originating in Persia around the seventh century, ghazals consist of couplets that, traditionally, exist separately of each other. Richly metaphoric and intense, the form relies upon nuance and association instead of linear thought to make sense.

In this three-hour workshop, participants will learn about the origin of the traditional ghazal and its requirements in terms of its rhyme scheme, line length, and refrain.

We will also explore the form as it has been adopted by contemporary poets in North America, and write some ghazals of our own.

All Poets Welcome!

All writers of poetry are welcome in this unique style and form of poetry. Poet and teacher Margo Wheaton will be joining us via Zoom from Nova Scotia, with Vanessa Shields in the writing room with you!

In this workshop, we will:

  • learn about the history of the ghazal from, including adaptations in contemporary poetry

  • read ghazals together

  • write ghazals together

  • practise writing poetry using prompts and timed writing

  • discover how themes like family, nature, love, and grief can help us learn to leap into the ghazal form

The Details

Date: Saturday, June 18, 2022

Time: 1pm – 4pm Location: Gertrude’s Writing Room 1899 Niagara St., The Coach House Willistead Park

Cost: $80.00

Mask wearing – your choice

Cost Includes: journal, pen, presentation, light snacks, copy of Margo’s collection ‘Rags of Night in Our Mouths

Please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions.

Please let us know if you require a payment plan.

Maximum writers: 8


Please email Vanessa with the subject line: Learning to Leap! and in the message include your full name and phone contact as well as how you’d like to pay.

PAYMENT OPTIONS: e-transfer, cash, credit, debit


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.

Richly metaphoric and intense, the form relies upon nuance and association instead of linear thought to make sense.
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