DC’s Poet Laureate hosts final poetry workshop

December 7, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

Harry Posner, Dufferin County’s inaugural Poet Laureate, has concluded his final poetry workshop, continuing his duties as an ambassador promoting literary and other arts in the community.

The workshop series was dubbed “Make Poetry GREAT Again,” with the first session held in September, the second in October, and the last on Sunday, November 26. All three took place at Orangeville’s Mill Street Public Library.

This workshop was about performing poetry and sharing writing on stage, to bring voice and character, and getting rid of nervousness.

“Lot of writers don’t have great stage presence, have never really worked that into their repertoire of skills,” said Mr. Posner.

He added that every stage is different, ranging from a physical stage, to a small room, and even online. “To become aware of your environment, and to work with it, to be aware of your audience, is important.”

Stacey Dittman, one of the participants, said she wanted to do the sessions for a “love of poetry,” and “an interest in literature.”

She said she knows Harry through his public performances and wanted to see how he “approaches his craft.”

Mr. Posner admitted he was surprised by how many people registered and attended, surpassing his expectations, as he’s done workshops in the library before where only a few attended. “Word gets around, the power of social media.”

He added it was great for him to know there’s people in the community who want to learn poetry and literature in general, attributing it to the numerous bookstores.

“Even if people come away with one idea, or one tip, or one something that they can take to improve their writing and presentation, that’s all I can ask.”

Ms. Dittman said she’s really enjoyed “walking away, learning something tangible,” from the workshops.

Asked what’s in store for the future, Mr. Posner said he plans working with the Dufferin Arts Councils’ “artists in the schools” program to help students, and work with seniors on poetry.

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