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Alberta Culture Days: A Vocation to Write: Sharing Your Words, Your SELF, with Community (Calgary & Edmonton – September 23)

A Vocation to Write: Sharing Your Words, Your SELF, with Community

Saturday, September 23rd
In-Person in Calgary and Edmonton
Free Events

Register using the individual forms below

Writing is a vulnerable act, it takes courage to share your words, your SELF, with others.

Join paulo da costa for an in-person memoir workshop: Memoir as Medicine for the Heart, in Calgary, and Shima Robinson for an in-person poetry workshop: Voice and Vocality as Vocation: Speaking Words to Give Meaning to Life in Community, in Edmonton, where they will explore the complexities of sharing oneself with the world through words. 

Memoir Workshop, facilitated by paulo da costa

Saturday, September 23rd, 11 AM – 12:30 PM | In-Person | Free Event
Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society,  1721 29 Ave SW Unit 640, Calgary, AB T2T 6T7

Memoir as Medicine for the Heart

Writing with candour about family and communities of affection may be a challenging endeavour. Memoir also offers the potential to enlighten and reward past experiences with insight and understanding, illuminating and perhaps even healing the heart. When owning the subjective perspective and experience as your own, writing on difficult and intimate subjects can still prompt feelings of discomfort and pain for all involved. How much should you reveal about your personal history and inner feelings when the web of connections is so complex, and family and community lives intersect in both obvious and unseen ways? Truth, kindness, and revelation are the medicinal ingredients paulo incorporates to honour those he writes about, as well as the wounds he may come upon, in himself and in those unwittingly brought to the page. Come explore the journey of writing Memoir with paulo da costa, two-time award-winning author of creative non-fiction. His memoir, Trust the Bluer Skies: Meditations on Fatherhood, is forthcoming in 2024 with University of Regina Press.

About the Facilitator

Born in Angola, and raised in Portugal, paulo da costa is a writer, editor and translator living in Canada. He is twice the recipient of the James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction (2023 and 2020), the 2003 Commonwealth First Book Prize for the Canada-Caribbean Region, the W. O. Mitchell City of Calgary Book Prize and the Canongate Prize for short-fiction. His poetry, fiction and nonfiction have been published widely in literary magazines around the world and translated into Italian, Spanish, Serbian, Slovenian and Portuguese. The Midwife of Torment is his latest book of fiction, and Trust the Bluer Skies: Meditations on Fatherhood, a book of creative non-fiction, is forthcoming in 2024 with University of Regina Press.

Find paulo online: | FB: paulo.dacosta.73550 | TW: paulocostaautor | IG: paulodacostaauthor | Good Reads: 3519403.Paulo_da_Costa

Register for paulo’s Workshop

*We collect participant location for statistical purposes.

Poetry Workshop, facilitated by Shima Robinson

Saturday, September 23rd,  1:30 – 3 PM| In-Person | Free Event
EPL – Strathcona Branch,  8331 104 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 4E9

Voice and Vocality as Vocation: Speaking Words to Give Meaning to Life in Community

Participants in Voice and Vocality as Vocation will explore the meanings of the words in the workshop title. We will ask ourselves and write on the topics of “what is voice?”, “what is vocality?”, and “what is vocation?”. The workshop will encourage discussion of our collective and individual interpretations of these aspects of human ingenuity. Time will be provided for writing and reflection as well as group discussion. The facilitator will share her experiences of developing her voice in community through the art of spoken word poetry. She will share her journey through various states of vocality and bring performance poetry into the workshop where it will be used to prompt group reflection, discussion and creativity. This workshop will encourage participants to recognize the value of their own voices, to speak truth to power, to use their discernment in practising their own vocality,  and to appreciate all of these forms of agency in community. 

About the Facilitator

Shima Aisha Robinson works for the Edmonton Poetry Festival as the Artistic Producer and Fringe Theatre Adventures as the Learning and Outreach Manager. She recently worked at APIRG on the University of Alberta campus as the Programming and Working Group Coordinator. She is a University of Alberta Master of Arts in Community Engagement (MACE) candidate who advances her enthusiasm for anti-oppression and social justice work volunteering, interning and working with local groups that address systemic issues of oppression and marginalisation in amiskwaciy-wâskahikan (aka Edmonton). Shima is an amiskwaciy-wâskahikan (aka Edmonton) born poet and spoken word artist who embodies, with every literary and scholarly effort, the ancient meaning of her chosen pen name. Dwennimmen is the name of an ancient African Adinkra symbol, which means strength, humility, learning and wisdom. It is no surprise, then, that this veteran of the Alberta poetry community uses a searing intellect and dynamic precision-of-language to create poetry which ushers her readers and listeners toward greater understanding and poignant reflection. For Dwennimmen, poetry has long been a compass, a salve, an anchor and guiding light. She uses the potential and force of poetry to uncover the full range of her cerebral, linguistic and spiritual fortitude. This is why her every poem and performance testifies to an emerging power and wisdom, an authentic, deeply human potency which she hopes to pass on to listeners and poetry-lovers around the world.

Shima is Edmonton’s 10th Poet Laureate (2023-2025).

Register for Shima’s Workshop

*We collect participant location for statistical purposes.
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