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2017 WordsWorth Instructors & Courses

We are proud to announce this year's instructors for Wordsworth 2017.

More names and course descriptions will be added as they are confirmed!

Week 2 Brandon Wint is an Edmonton-based poet, educator and spoken word artist. For Brandon, the writing and performance of poetry are tools for investigating and embodying his spectrum of beliefs about the world, and the nuances of the human spirit. In this way, Brandon's political viewpoints are subtly and poignantly expressed in a manner that consistently foregrounds the possibilities of love, unity, resilience and understanding that exist between humans. As an educator, Brandon uses poetry to help people of all ages and experience levels harness deeper forms of authenticity, social awareness and empathy. Brandon is a two-time national poetry slam champion, and has performed all over Canada.
Week 2 Cailynn Klingbeil is a freelance journalist based in Calgary. A former newspaper reporter for the Edmonton Journal, she now writes for numerous publications. Her stories have appeared in The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Canadian Business, and Avenue. Cailynn is excited to be teaching at WordsWorth for her first time.        
Weeks 2 & 3 Award-winning author, Cathy Ostlere, writes in a wide array of literary forms – fiction, verse, nonfiction, theatre and film. Her YA novels, set in India and Ukraine, focus on historically-accurate stories about displacement, genocide, and youth identity. She loves teaching and creating courses like Magical Beasts, The Haibun Journal, Great Myths, The Hero’s Journey, and On the Road with Jack Kerouac. She's excited to be teaching for her sixth summer at WordsWorth. At heart, Cathy's a nomad, but calls Calgary home.        
Week 1 Colin Martin is a writer and writing instructor from Calgary. His fiction, poetry, and critical work have appeared in a number of venues including Open Letterfilling Station MagazinedANDelion Magazine, a forthcoming anthology from Wilfred Laurier University Press, and the 2006 Tightrope Books anthology of supernatural fiction, In The Dark. He is very excited to return to Wordsworth this year.          
Weeks 2 & 3

David Wilson (B.Mus, M.Mus) is a Singer, Conductor, Voice Teacher, Yoga Instructor, Breath Therapist, and soon-to-be-author. He is recognized across Canada as a leading authority on the use of yoga and breath therapy to aid proper singing and speaking technique. He has conducted in the styles of choir, opera and musical theatre, including RENT. As a singer David sings in both the classical and musical theatre genres, most recently for "Into the Woods", and at the University of Alberta's "A Musical Feast". David currently enjoys teaching voice for Grant MacEwan Theatre Arts, Edmonton Musical Theatre, Cowtown Opera Summer Academy and the University of Alberta. At his Edmonton teaching studio David offers Professional Voice Lessons, Functional Vocal Transformation, Movement Re-Education, Confidence/Empowerment Training, and Body, Breath & Voice Integrative Therapy. He tours regularly, offering workshops to singers, actors, teachers and professionals on vocal power and respiratory health. He is currently working on a DVD/book entitled The Wilson Method for Voice. His website is body-breath-voice.com. David is thrilled to be part of the 2017 WWKK family this summer.

Week 3 Derek Beaulieu is the author of eight collections of poetry, six collections of conceptual fiction, and two collections of essays. Beaulieu co-edited The Calgary Renaissance (with rob mclennan) a collection of contemporary risk-taking Calgarian writing. Derek Beaulieu was the 2014–2016 Poet Laureate of Calgary, Canada. Just before Wordsworth 2017, Derek will have launched his most recent punctuation-only novel a, A Novel, in Paris and Berlin.    
Week 3

Isaac Bond has been touring, teaching, and organizing spoken word for five years. Born and raised in Saskatoon, he grew up writing and performing. In 2013, he founded Write Out Loud, a collective of spoken word artists that partner with schools and other community based organizations. In 2013 and 2015, he was a member of ensembles for the Victoria Spoken Word Festival. In 2015, he directed the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word.

       

 Week 2 Jani writes fiction and is working on her second book of short stories. Her first, The Jesus Year, was published in 2013. Jani also practices and teaches yoga. She can't wait to return to WordsWorth for her fourth summer!            
Weeks 1 & 2

Johnny MacRae is a spoken word artist from Vancouver, BC. MacRae established himself as a dynamic performer and innovative writer on the poetry slam stage. A three-time Vancouver Poetry Slam champion (2010 team champion; 2013/2016 individual champion), he has represented Vancouver twice and Victoria once, competing in the national team championship at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. In 2013, MacRae was named the Victoria Spoken Word Festival Poet of Honour.
 
He has toured widely across Canada and the United States performing at poetry series, and music, theatre, and folk arts festivals, both solo and as a member of collaborative acts 2 Dope Boys in a Cadillac (with shayne avec i grec) and The Dambassadors (with avec i grec, “Mighty” Mike McGee, and Chelsea D.E. Johnson).  In addition to his writing and performance, MacRae has been a dedicated arts educator, offering over 250 workshops and performances in schools across Canada since 2010.  A passionate organizer, MacRae founded the UBC Poetry Slam in 2009, and created the Victoria Poetry Project’s youth education program, Raising Voices, in 2013.  Since 2013, he has also been director of WordPlay Poets, a program of the Vancouver Poetry House, and co-director of Hullabaloo, the BC youth spoken word festival.

Weeks 1 & 3 Kim Firmston is a real life mutant and cyborg – though one without any cool powers. She writes teen novels about punk rock, cosplay, and computer hacking. Her stage plays have been produced as far away as Egypt and the Philippines as well as the Calgary Fringe Festival. She dabbles in poetry, stop motion animation, video game writing, and film making. Kim has six published novels, created three sweet websites, and one super awesome writing club called Reality Is Optional. Kim encourages play and hands on learning in all her classes. She has also been known to build diabolical devices out of cardboard and old chip bags with prominent DO NOT PUSH buttons which she dares you to push. Go on – push the button. Push it.    
Week 1 Leif has been doing improv since 2000, but has been performing his whole life. He plays a wide variety of musical instruments including piano, keyboards, guitar, bass, drums and percussion. Leif joined Outside Joke (a Winnipeg-based improv-comedy-theatre group) in 2007 and was finally able to combine his love of music and improv. He moved to Edmonton in 2014 and has worked closely with Rapid Fire Theatre (Theatre Sports/Chimprov) and Catch The Keys Productions (Ursa Major/Dead Centre Of Town). In 2015 he founded Old Norse Theatre and under that name has written, composed and directed an original work, Echoes of a Lost King: A new Dungeons & Dragons Musical (which premiered at NextFest in June 2016), and developed, produced and performed The Booth/The Booth: Offerings (which premiered at FoundFest 2016). He also created the sound design for several prominent fringe shows in 2016 and 2017 and looks forward to growing in that direction as well. Old Norse Theatre has plenty of exciting projects coming up in the next season that Leif is very excited to share with you. He has also become quite fond of referring to himself in the third person.
Week 3 Lindsey Walker looks at the dark side of love and life through a hopeful, hilarious and passionate lens. Her greatest joy is sharing music with folks across the country. Since 2011 Lindsey has toured extensively as a solo artist in Canada with half her heart in Alberta, and the other in her hometown of Winnipeg. In 2013 Lindsey was nominated as an "Artist to Watch" at the Edmonton music awards, which heralded her debut album Our Glory with a sold-out crowd. Fans began to respond to the raw honesty and soaring vocal power of her music. Blogs followed, and IndieGogo featured her as a success story for her innovative engagement strategies. Our Glory found a national audience receiving airplay on CBC, and college and community stations from Vancouver to Halifax. Her eagerly anticipated new record this desolate bliss will release in the fall marking a bold new direction as Lindsey takes audiences on a cinematic apocalyptic journey through roots and rock.    
Week 3 Louise Casemore is a producer, writer, performer, and overall creative renegade currently based in Alberta. She received her post-secondary training as one of the final graduates of Keyano College’s conservatory Drama program in Fort McMurray, and has worked relentlessly across the arts industry ever since. In addition to her current position as Artistic Associate for Ghost River Theatre, Louise is the Artistic Director for the independent company Defiance Theatre, which is committed to the development of new Canadian theatre and bridging the gap between emerging and established artists. Through Defiance and on her own, Louise has been involved in over a dozen world premieres and counting. Sprinkled amongst work in the theatre she is actively involved in event coordination and fundraising for both the commercial and non-profit sectors. Louise has served as the Co-Chair of Fundraising for Theatre Network, is a proud member of the Workshop West Playwright’s Theatre Board of Directors, and has previously served on the Keyano College Board of Governors. She is passionate about exploring new ways to approach storytelling, good food, and all things strange and unusual.
Weeks 1 & 2 Instructor Marcello Di Cintio is the author of three books of documentary literature including Walls: Travels Along the Barricades. His current project, titled Pay No Heed to the Rockets: Palestine in the Present Tense, will be published next year. Marcello also writes for magazines such as SwerveCanadian GeographicThe International New York Times, and Afar. He is a former writer-in-residence with the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program and the Palestine Writing Workshop, and a featured instructor at the Iceland Writers Retreat. Marcello used to be a wrestler, but his wrestling skills don’t make him any better at Death Polo.      
Week 1 Paul Zits received his MA in English from the University of Calgary in 2010. His first book, Massacre Street (University of Alberta Press, 2014), won the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry at the 2014 Alberta Literary Awards, and was also shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award and the IndieFab Award for Poetry. His forthcoming book, Leap-seconds (Insomniac Press, 2017), won the 2016 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Zits served two terms as Writer-in-the-Schools at Queen Elizabeth High School in Calgary, teaching creative writing to students in the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program, and is the former Managing Editor of the Calgary-based, experimental literary and arts magazine, filling Station. Zits is currently a teacher with the Calgary Board of Education. This is his fifth year at the WordsWorth Residency.  
Weeks 2

Richard Kelly Kemick's poetry and prose have been published in magazines and journals across Canada and the United States. His debut collection of poetry, Caribou Run, was published March 2016 and selected by CBC as one of the season’s Must Read Collections. He won a National Magazine award in 2016 for One-of-a-Kind feature. 

         

Week 3 Simon Rose is a Calgary author of ten novels and more than 80 nonfiction books for children and young adults. Simon offers programs for schools, covering the writing process, editing and revision, where ideas come from, character development, historical fiction, story structure, and the publishing world. He is an instructor for adults with the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, and Chinook Learning Services and offers online workshops and courses for both children and adults. Simon also provides services for writers, including manuscript evaluation, editing, and coaching, plus copywriting services for the business community. Learn more at simon-rose.com.  
Week 3 Tim Mikula is an artist living in Edmonton, Alberta. He has written shows, read poetry, and painted paintings in bars, theatres (movie), theatres (real), forests, art galleries, and plywood robot heads in public parks. His work draws on over a decade of experience as an improviser of theatre and comedy and is a harrowing experiment of endless failure and success.        
Week 2 Todd Houseman is an improviser, actor, musician, and indigenous activist. He is most often found on stages around Edmonton Alberta. Recently Todd was accepted to the National Theatre School of Canada and will be studying acting in the fall. Todd works on occasion with inner-city youth teaching improv or running cultural exchange programs. Currently Todd is in the process of co-creating a web-series which was derived from his two person improvised play, Folk Lordz. In his free time Todd can be found deep within the forest, forging a knife, or sharing stories of his people.      

Check out these courses, being offered during week one of WordsWorth! (July 9 - 14, ages 12 - 14)Cathy Ostlere - Quirky Characters:  Bring a list of your favourite quirky characters to this class. Psychopaths? Mathletes? Awkward misfits? Unapologetic divas? Or animals? Together we’ll explore ways to make fictional characters leap off the page. We’ll use different voices, create unique backstories and talk about why characters need high stakes to create drama. And we’ll try to slay the cliché!Colin Martin - Mashic SpudatosTrain-riding wizards, space dragons, talking cats, mutants, zombies, sometimes the best stories are the ones that ask "what if?" and then answer that question using science, or magic, or both. We're going to look at stories that don't follow the rules and create worlds where anything can happen and probably does.Johnny MacRae - Adventures in Slam-land:  In this course, we'll grow from our first steps into the land of spoken word (or slam) poetry to stepping on stage with one fully-realized spoken word poem of our own. Beginning with an introductory workshop to introduce fundamental principles of spoken word writing and performance, this series of workshops explores devices (i.e. personification, extended metaphor) and structures (i.e. beat poems, persona writing) that are useful crafting good spoken word pieces.  We'll also play around with poetry as a group activity, writing pieces in tandem with other poets.Kim Firmston - Mad Skills AKA Build Your Tool Box:  A great writer needs to hone many skills to put what is in their imagination onto the page. In this class you will not only get the tools you need but learn how to use them with great dexterity. Experiment with world building, description which will suck the reader into your story, creating new tech/magic/or other in story items or events (think Quidditch), play with advanced tenses and points of view, learn how to tackle editing and finishing, and how to eventually get that creation published. This course comes with the additional bonus of – if you need it, we’ll cover it. No tool will be left in the tool shed. You be given them all and become the master of Mad Skills.Leif Ingebrigsten - Let's Write a Song!:  What makes a great song? What’s the structure of a song? How can we use the structure of songwriting to tell a great story? All of this and much more as we breakdown song genres and structure to each write solid lyrics for an original composition!  Not musical? No problem! Lots of great lyricists aren’t musicians at all! We can still create great work using these simple tools!Marcello Di Cintio - A Sense of the World:  In this creative nonfiction course, we will use our senses to seek out the stories in our everyday lives, and to translate the world around us into art on the page. Our eyes, nose, fingers, tongue and ears will guide us to the narratives that surround us. After all, our worlds are full of characters, scenes and stories. Let's use our senses to find them.Paul Zits - Isn't a Poem Just a Collection?:  Every writer is a collector of sorts. Overheard conversations, striking images, half-remembered dreams, can all be collected and put to use. If you’re looking to find your voice, you often need look no further than at what you accumulate. While learning the fundamental techniques of the craft of poetry, this course will teach you how to collect like a writer. Learn how to use found material, cut-ups & collage to create unique works or use these same techniques as a way to enhance your writing, and develop your creative voice.
Here are the courses being offered during week 2! (July 16 - 21, ages 15 - 19)Cailynn Klingbeil - Journalism 101:  In an age of fake news, come discover the importance of writing that is accurate and engaging. We’ll focus on fundamental skills involved in reporting and writing stories for print and online publications. Learn what makes the news and where to find story ideas, hone your aptitude for interviewing, craft compelling ledes that draw your readers in, and learn how to work with editors — as well as under deadlines. By the end of the week you’ll have written articles, and developed new expertise that will enhance any kind of storytelling you undertake.Cathy Ostlere - La Vita Nuova:  In this class we’ll be using Dante Alighieri’s book The New Life (published in 1295) as the model for creating a text using both poetry and prose. The poems we write will create a frame story about an experience from our own lives. The prose sections will link the poems with commentaries that explore our beliefs, philosophies, ideas, dreams and attitudes towards our writing. Our work during this class will engage the lyrical writing brain and the analytical eye.David Wilson - The Writer's Voice and Your Whole You:  Our faith, courage and tenacity informs our writing. In this class we will explore artistic, empowering and fun disciplines, and then observe how these activities affect our writing. Core-inspired motion, breathwork, meditation, drama games, yoga and vocal empowerment all lead us toward our goals of increased confidence, awareness, inspiration and creativity!Jani Krulc - Translation:  In this class, we will look at translation as reinvention, playing with grammar, syntax, musical notation, and literary genres, reformulating and reimagining to create new work. No knowledge of second or third languages required!Johnny MacRae - Write Funny:  In this course, we'll take a look at the use of jokes as a structural device, through the lens of spoken word (or slam) poetry.  Humor can be dangerous - and scary to perform.  But used appropriately, humor can elevate anything from a room of people to a ruminating poem.  Using foundational improv exercises, we'll create a space conducive to absurdity and risk-taking.  Interactive exercises - such as telling jokes in gibberish - will be underscored with critical discussions of humorous thought and word structures, and the manner in which these structures may be employed in poetry.  Over the week, we'll play with everything from slapstick to satire to "rhetorical jokes" (or jokes which are not meant to receive laughter).Marcello Di Cintio - A Sense of the World:  In this creative nonfiction course, we will use our senses to seek out the stories in our everyday lives, and to translate the world around us into art on the page. Our eyes, nose, fingers, tongue and ears will guide us to the narratives that surround us. After all, our worlds are full of characters, scenes and stories. Let's use our senses to find them.Richard Kelly Kemick - Wild Writing:  From climbing Himalayan peaks to scaling the big walls of Yosemite, from surfing the BC coast to facing grave peril on Mt. McKinley, we all have stories to tell that concern the great outdoors. Whether it you’re interested in a short story of talking elk or a poem about the roiling river, this course will provide writers with the time and space to explore the themes of nature in their writing. Daily sessions will provide useful discussion and encouragement, while writers enjoy the beauty, peace, and inspiration of the spectacular surroundings that only Wordsworth has access to. All genres are welcome––fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essay, history, biography, or memoir.Todd Houseman - Writing From the Land: A series of session based taking places outside or as close to the physical, natural land as possible. The course will be focusing on literature from an indigenous perspective, specifically focusing on the stories and works from the plains regions of Canada and the local geography of the camp which is located on the territory of The Blackfoot Confederacy or Niitsitap Confederacy. Throughout the course, the instructor Todd Houseman will share his knowledge of oral storytelling and look at the works of historical and contemporary indigenous authors of both the written and oral works of our land. The goal is to learn to write from a less colonial point of view by understanding the importance of indigenizing or decolonizing the narratives of our land. It is important to note that though Todd identifies as a Cree mixed blood, he is not an Elder and so will not be sharing traditional knowledge. Sit in forest and learn from the land and hear tales of battles old and new, tricksters and magic, love and loss all from the place we call home and enrich your writing with deeper connection to where you are and where you've been! 
Here are the courses being offered during week 3! (July 23 - 28, ages 14 - 19)David Wilson - The Writer's Voice and Your Whole You:  Our faith, courage and tenacity informs our writing. In this class we will explore artistic, empowering and fun disciplines, and then observe how these activities affect our writing. Core-inspired motion, breathwork, meditation, drama games, yoga and vocal empowerment all lead us toward our goals of increased confidence, awareness, inspiration and creativity!Kim Firmston - Magical Realism:  What if the everyday world seemed magical and the magical seemed everyday? Well there’s a genre for that – Magical Realism, and it is a beautiful thing. Not only is this exciting genre really interesting, learning it will boost your other writing by just adding a sprinkle of some of these amazing literary techniques. So why not give it a shot and learn all about Magical Realism? A world like you’ve never seen it before awaits you.Lindsey Walker - Songwriting from the heart, and other strange sources of inspiration:  This interactive class will look at the beautiful relationship between music and the written word. Analyze and explore the core elements of songwriting, and the strange places one can find inspiration. There will be opportunities for group work as well as solo discovery, all with music in mind. Students do not need to have any previous experience with music or composing. This class will focus on words, but there will also be a selection of musical instruments available for experimentation.Louise Casemore - From Page to Stage:  Where are YOU in your writing? The best way to truly engage an audience is to write from a place that is personal, informed, and imaginative. This course will outline a specific creative formula to first mine the depths of personal experience, then incorporate research into the writing, and finally round out a piece with pure fiction. We will work towards creating pieces that can be turned into performance poems, solo plays, or something much bigger – encouraging writers to graduate ideas from page to stage in a safe and supported environment.Simon Rose - Inspiration, Imagination and Invention: A Journey into the Writing Process:  These workshops explore the writing process, where ideas come from and how writers turn them into stories. The sessions also examine ways to combat writer's block, the importance of planning and outlines, pacing your story, keeping the reader engaged, and creating memorable characters.Tim Mikula - Impulse:  Armed with nothing but our wits we will be building a metaphorical airplane midflight, never knowing where the final product will leave us. The tenets of improv will be applied to writing, performing, painting, and whatever else we can fathom just to see what happens. Impulse is running full tilt down a pitch black hallway*. Impulse is saying one word without knowing what the next will be. Impulse is failing in as many bizarre and unorthodox ways as possible and plunge the unseen depths of your creativity.*we will not actually run full tilt down pitch black hallways
Colin Matty (Camp Director) is a playwright, poet, performer, and enthusiast of wordplay in all its forms. He first began his journey with WordsWorth and the Writers' Guild in 2011, and has since come to appreciate the incredible passion and power of the community of young writers it brings together. While not scheming ways to make the experiences at camp even more magical, Colin runs his best ideas through a typewriter and gives them to strangers on the street. This is his third year as camp Director, and he hopes this year's WordsWorth will be the freshest yet!(Photo Credit: Cory Johnn Photography)    
Born out east and raised out west, Bevin Dooley is a writer of plays, poems, and short stories. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting from the Lir Academy/Trinity College Dublin. Her play, Deadstock, was awarded the 2016 Alberta Playwriting Competition’s Novitiate Prize, featured in a reading series of new plays at he 2015 Tiger Dublin Fringe, and received a second public reading in April 2017, supported by the Playwright’s Guild of Canada and Alberta Playwrights Network. Her short story, Madonna With Teeth, was shortlisted in GEIST Magazine’s CanLit Without It Short Story Competition. She is currently a member of the RBC Emerging Artists Mentorship Program through Alberta Playwrights’ Network. Bevin's latest play, Slack Tide, will premier at the 2017 Edmonton International Fringe Festival. She is absolutely delighted to be rejoining the Creative Team at WordsWorth 2017. 
 Em Williamson attended WordsWorth for several years, and considers it a pivotal part of her growth as a writer and as a person. Having been inspired to continue to develop her writing skills, and met friends and acquaintances she still holds dear today, she is now looking to give back to the camp as a member of the creative team. Em is mainly interested in spoken word poetry and has performed at such places as Can You Hear Me Now?, Say Word, Inkspot, Single Onion, Woolf's Voices and Raw Voices in Calgary - however, in addition to poetry, she is hoping that one day she'll be able to finish that novel! Please wish her luck on that.   
Gabriel is an Edmonton born actor entering his third year at the National Theatre School of Canada. Selected acting credits include Demetrius (A Midsummer Nights Dream), Boland (Dogfight), Prior Laurence (Angels in America). This is his second time being a part of the creative team at WordsWorth and this is always the highlight of his summer!      
Jess Tollestrup is a musician and storyteller from rural southern Alberta. They began their WordsWorth journey as a camper way back in 2009, returning as a Creative Team member in 2014. Sometimes Jess wonders what the rest of the world does during the month of July - but only briefly, because it can't possibly be as exciting as WordsWorth. Jess calls many places home - Lethbridge, Vancouver, and most recently, Edmonton. During the day, they are a music teacher and a leader of youth rock bands. At night, they play shows and attend poetry slams. This fall they will be touring their debut EP 'The Pluto Year' from Victoria, BC to Sherbrooke, QC. Their favourite activities include accidentally moving to strange cities and LARPing.   
Marc Herman Lynch has his MA in English, works as the Writing Specialist at the University of Calgary's Writing Support Services, and is President of filling Station magazine. He co-runs the flywheel reading series in Calgary, AB.      
Sebastien is a cartoonist, artist, writer, and educator from Calgary who has been putting comics on the internet for nearly a decade. He takes every chance he can get to teach creative practices to kids and teens in lieu of more broadly useful skills like brick-laying or animal husbandry. He is trying really hard to be funny pretty much all the time and considers making people smile the second best thing ever, right after oxygen. Find Sebastien at srrscribe.com     
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