The Sonnet as Daybook:
How to Use Form to Enhance Your Writing Practice
(with John Barton)
January 22, 2022
This three-hour workshop presents the sonnet, often viewed as an outdated poetic form, as a tool to explore contemporary concerns—one that, because of its short length and versatility, can be incorporated into a regular writing practice. In the first hour, participants will be introduced to the rules of the form. In the second hour, they will apply and adapt those rules to write sonnets of their own. In the third, participants may read their sonnets to one another, followed by a discussion of how to exploit the sonnet’s potential to keep writing and to explore one’s own life experience.
- Saturday, January 22 (1pm–4pm EST/UTC-5)
Required preparation: Participants should prepare one or two subjects about which they’re interested in writing and should have access to rhyming dictionary, dictionary, and thesaurus websites. Details will be provided through two pre-workshop handouts.
Suggested experience level: writers of all experience levels, from new writers to professional authors
Seats available: 12
Workshop fee: CAN$50
John Barton is the author of twenty-eight books, chapbooks, and anthologies. His twelfth collection of poetry, Lost Family: A Memoir (a book of sonnets), was nominated for the 2021 Derek Walcott Prize. Since 1980, magazines, newspapers, and anthologies on four continents have published his poems, essays, and reviews. A three-time recipient of the Archibald Lampman Award, he’s also won an Ottawa Book Award, a CBC Literary Award, a National Magazine Award, and an eLit Award. Between 1989 and 2018 John edited Arc Poetry Magazine, Vernissage: The National Gallery of Canada, and The Malahat Review. In 2021, John was made a life member of the League of Canadian Poets in recognition of his advocacy for and contribution to queer writing in Canada. He lives in Victoria where he is the city’s fifth poet laureate.