Over the past few years we have offered online workshops to enthusiastic response. The goal is to give access to high-quality and imaginative workshops at an affordable cost.

A-frame Pastiches: Writing in Tribute to Al Purdy

Two 90-minute sessions with John Barton

March 23 11 a.m. PT / 2 p.m. ET
April 6 11 a.m. PT / 2 p.m. ET

Together we’ll illuminate various ways we can respond creatively to the work of another poet, with Purdy’s poems in the hot seat. To illustrate, John has written examples of five forms to get the ball rolling and the pens moving: a pastiche, a glosa, a cento, a sonnenizio and a remix, each using lines from Purdy’s work

This workshop is a great opportunity for writers wanting to explore these forms and to take a deeper dive into Purdy’s work, facilitated by one of Canada’s leading poets.

Register early, space is limited!

Session: 1: March 23 11 a.m. PT / 2 p.m. ET
John will explain the various approaches and share his written examples to illustrate each form. If there is time, one writing exercise; please choose a short poem by Purdy that you’d like to respond to in advance of the session. 90 minutes.

Session 2: April 6 11 a.m. PT / 2 p.m. ET
Participants will share the poems they’ve written since the first session, followed by a discussion of benefits and challenges in writing in response to the work of another poet, followed by any final questions. 90 minutes.

Fee: $30 for both sessions.

Participants: maximum 12

To register send your name, email address and $30 by e-transfer to

John Barton during his residency at the A-frame.

John Barton is a poet, essayist, editor, and writing mentor. His twelve books of poetry include Hymn, For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin: Selected Poems, Polari, and Lost Family: A Memoir, which was nominated for the 2021 Derek Walcott Prize. His other books include Seminal: The Anthology of Canada’s Gay-Male Poets, We Are Not Avatars: Essays, Memoirs, Manifestos, and The Essential Douglas LePan, which won a 2020 eLit Award. Also the recipient of three Archibald Lampman Awards, a CBC Literary Award, and a National Magazine Award, he has served as writer in residence at the Saskatoon Public Library, the University of New Brunswick, and Memorial University of Newfoundland. Co-editor of Arc Poetry Magazine from 1990 to 2003 and editor of The Malahat Review from 2004 to 2018, he has published his poems and essays in magazines and anthologies in Australia, Canada, China, India, Romania, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Born in Edmonton and raised in Calgary, he lives in Victoria, where he was the city’s poet laureate from 2019 to 2022.

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Thank you for your consideration, and your support!