Preparing for Poetry

An exciting chapter is opening in my life.  I am scheduled to facilitate a workshop-style course with ElderCollege in the Comox Valley of beautiful British Columbia.  All things being considered, this is a great time for me to reflect on how I view poetry as a medium of communication.

As children, we learn about the five senses – we hear, see, smell, touch, and taste.  Poetry captures the essence of these senses and brings them into distinct, clear focus. Not all at once. Each of our senses is a vehicle to expression and each of us communicates uniquely, in our own way, through our own understanding of life events.

This is illustrated in the story of Helen Keller who was unable to communicate after a childhood illness left her deaf and blind.  The year was 1882, and Helen’s inability to communicate literally nearly drove her mad; her inability to be understood turned her into an unruly, undisciplined child.  Finally, her teacher Anne Sullivan, placed Helen’s hands under running water and simultaneously wrote “W, A, T, E, R” on her palm, creating for Helen a connection between the object (water) and its definition. While Helen could not see or hear, Anne Sullivan’s teaching enabled her to communicate through her sense of touch. Like a light switch illuminates a dark room.

For me, this story, this connection between awareness and sensitivity, is poetry. My objective is to have us accentuate our individual senses in order to communicate through poetry. What is the language we use?  We could say the language is poetry.

Cecilia Cutler (Hutchinson)                                                                        September 2017

20 ways to network that don’t feel like networking

20 ways to network that don’t feel like networking

BY   link to full article

Say the word “networking” and many people think of attending awkward events, anxiously clutching business cards, likely looking for the nearest exit. With a reputation for being disingenuous, one-way, and simply uncomfortable, it’s understandable that many people prefer not to network at all.

Add a little poetry to life

The League of Canadian Poets National Poetry Month theme this year is time.  In the attached article, they offer some great tips and tricks on how to incorporate poetry into your day-to-day routine now and throughout the year!

  • Read a poem in your sudden downtime
  • Take it down a notch: try chapbooks, instead of books

  • Take a break or cleanse your palette with poetry

  • Set aside poetry time

  • Follow your favourites

  • Don’t be afraid of the bandwagon

    Read the full article


April is National Poetry Month

According to the League of Canadian Poets, National Poetry Month began in the US in 1996, spearheaded by the Academy of American Poets on the steps of a post office in New York City. There, the story goes, Academy staff members handed out copies of T.S. Eliot’s poem, “The Waste Land,” which begins, “April is the cruellest month…” to individuals waiting in line to mail their tax returns. Established in Canada in 1998, NPM now brings together schools, publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, and poets from across the country to celebrate poetry and its vital place in Canada’s culture.

Read more . . .

Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

A lecture by Neil Gaiman
Published in The Guardian
It’s important for people to tell you what side they are on and why, and whether they might be biased. A declaration of members’ interests, of a sort. So, I am going to be talking to you about reading. I’m going to tell you that libraries are important. I’m going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do. I’m going to make an impassioned plea for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve both of these things.

Read the article here 


Trust, balance key in journalism. . .
An article by Sheelagh Caygill

The world is overflowing with so-called news about the Royal family, teeth whitening, celebrities, and bizarre diets.  What does Queen Elizabeth think of Prince Harry? Has Angelina lost weight?

And what should you do about that exploding spot on the edge of your chin ahead of your date tonight? may be psychological and scientific reasons for some people’s love of clickbait. The human brain seems wired to explore crazy headlines, even though we know we’re being manipulated. But the effect on journalism has been detrimental.

Read the full article.


Abecedarians (Form Study)

This post is very interesting and definitely worth sharing with other writers.  It is copied from

Let’s explore abecedarians. Don’t try writing these unless you’re prepared to write them non-stop. They truly do get into your blood. Brief info below.

(Remember to supplement this initial post with examples, more info on the form, and discussion or analysis. Let’s share our findings.)

Abecedarians make use of all letters of the alphabet.

The most familiar abecedarian sentences are:

1. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.
2. Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs.

(every letter of the alphabet is used, but not in order)

Abecedarian Info & Examples
Related to acrostic, a poem in which the first letter of each line or stanza follows sequentially through the alphabet. See Jessica Greenbaum, “A Poem for S.” Tom Disch’s “Abecedary” adapts the principles of an abecedarian poem, while Matthea Harvey’s “The Future of Terror/The Terror of Future” sequence also uses the alphabet as an organizing principle. Poets who have used the abecedarian across whole collections include Mary Jo Bang, in The Bride of E, and Harryette Mullen, in Sleeping with the Dictionary.

Some use an “a to z” strategy and some use a “z to a” strategy (the latter type use all letters of the alphabet, starting with the last one and ending with the first one).

Women’s Enterprise Centre

Mentor Advisory Forum: Identifying Business Opportunities with the Government of Canada

Feb 22, 2017 | 10:00 am to 11:00 am (PST)
Join this webinar from anywhere

Bidding on Opportunities
Would you like to learn more about how to respond to government tenders?
This workshop is designed for participants who would like a more detailed overview of the bidding process and provides key information to help you bid on opportunities, including:

  • The different types of solicitation documents
  • The main elements of a solicitation document and how to respond to them
  • How bids are evaluated and suppliers are selected
  • How to follow-up after receipt of the bidding process results
  • Best practices, tips and suggestions

Facilitator: Kerrilee Auger, Skills Development Officer, Women’s Enterprise Centre
Panelist: Tess Menges, OSME

Register Now

Click on the button above to register, or copy and paste this url into your browser:

Startup Canada

The following is from MyTechGuys Feb 2, 2017 newsletter. posted at  I attended this talk and was really encouraged by the pointers presented by Sean Wise.  View Startup Comox Valley’s FB page.

Startup Canada Comox Valley introduce Sean Wise

Over 100 people attended the Sean Wise keynote speech
“It is never too late to start a new venture. All it takes is the courage to take those first steps towards launch”
That was the message Sean Wise delivered to a keen group of local entrepreneurs including My Tech Guys’s own Bob Wells January 25th at the Stan Hagen Theatre at North Island College. Giving small business and fresh local ideas the tools they need to flourish is Startup Canada’s main goal! The presentation was sponsored by My Tech Guys,  Lift Comox Valley and Mastermynde

Interesting ESL Links

As a new ESL tutor with the Adult Learning Centre, Courtenay, I have been browsing the web for interesting and informative articles about ESL learning and teaching.  The following blog by Stephen Seifert contains just that:

6 Fetching News Article Resources for ESL Students Online

This just in: The news is about to become your favorite new classroom tool.

ESL students quickly evolve and grow into eager, news-thirsty knowledge seekers.

Thanks to their language classes, the world has become a little smaller. Your students are taking interest in those popular stories popping up on their social media feeds.

They want to know more about the world around them, and they want to use their new English skills to fuel their insatiable desire to learn.

Your ESL students may be developing in-depth questions and may start to ask you about local and global news. They may want to read and understand the different perspectives of a particular news story or collect a more general overview about what is being reported outside their country.

Give them the knowledge they yearn for. Sharing a few excellent online news resources with your students will further their ESL skills. Current events are also a wonderful way for you to expand on your well-developed reading comprehension lesson plans.

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