Amplified Voices Writing Workshops

“A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life.”

― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Amplified Lives began at the end of July 2020 as an experiment in radical community-building and generative poetry writing. Inspired by Marty McConnell’s “Gathering Voices” poetry workshops, which emphasize the tenets of joy, curiosity, receptivity, and rigour, I reached out to my networks of friends and poets, and created a daily platform for discussing and writing in response to the poems published daily on Poem-a-Day. A Facebook group was created, and a small but dedicated, fierce and compassionate community of poets emerged in the process.

In Amplified Lives workshops, we come together to share our mutual love of poetry. We cultivate and revive our commitment to living what Elizabeth Gilbert calls “an amplified life,” one that is committed to living abundantly, boldly, creatively, and expansively. During these bewildering, uncertain times, I believe it is more important, now than ever, to build community, and not to write in complete isolation. Though writing may be a solitary act, the development of one’s craft needn’t be. We strive to offer a safer, inclusive, anti-oppressive space in which to amplify the voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) poets, as well as to provide new avenues for approaching work.

Each class will begin with a short free-writing warm-up, followed by listening to a recording of the poet reading their work, and a guided close reading of the Poem-a-Day‘s featured poem. This month’s poems, curated by David Tomas Martinez, focuses solely on Latinx poetry. Martinez writes: “A whole month of voices that identify as Latinx. I believe this is the first time for Poem-A-Day. Que exciting. There are poems written in Spanish. Poems about la frontera. Poems about blackness. Sensual poems. Politically active poems. There are nature poems. Poems that are funny. Poems that are heartbreaking. But they are all unapologetically brown poems.” After engaging with the poem of the day, three generative writing prompts will be offered for individual writing time, followed by solo writing time. There will be an opportunity to share work after the writing time, for the sake of hearing and feeling your own words without any feedback, critique or discussion.

Whether you are new to poetry, or have been published numerous books, you can expect to walk away with a sheaf of new poems, engage in close reading of a diverse range of poets, and toolkit for overcoming the challenges of writer’s block (or re-invigorating your daily practice), while being part of a warm, supportive, community of writers.

Co-facilitated by Jessica Burnquist and Katherine Hoerth (bios coming soon!). Please note: attendance will be capped at 8 participants.


Tuesdays and Thursdays, September 15-October 8th, 2020, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 am EDT.
All workshops will be conducted online via Zoom.  The fee for 8 sessions of 90 minutes each will be $75-100 CAD (Pay What You Want). Lower rates are available for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour)-identified writers who are experiencing financial barriers to accessing this workshop (please contact me for details). If you are unemployed, disabled, or wish to attend but are unable to due to financial barriers, please contact me directly to discuss payment options.

E-mail lisaontheroad (at) gmail (dot) com to register.

Details for October workshop coming soon!