Poetry writing is probably not the most common hobby or activity you’d hear from people. Given that there are a few rules to consider, if you don’t want to write a free verse type of poem, it can even be a little intimidating if you feel like you don’t have the talent to create a poem.
But although there are a few things to remember, this is also a skill that you can learn and improve over time. There are tons of opportunities to hone your poetry writing skills, especially in Canada.
In this blog, we’ll enumerate all the relevant institutions and options for aspiring poets in the country. Don’t worry, we’ll include all the huge cities that you can possibly think of.
Excited to know your options? Read on to know more.
Known to be the largest city in the country, Toronto is expected to be filled with opportunities for all fields—especially poetry. Every now and then, there are events that feature poets and their works.
Toronto poetry Slam is one of the more famous events that feature spoken word poetry and it happens twice a month, inviting a lot of aspiring and established artists from different parts of the country.
Currently, their activities are conducted online due to the pandemic.
If you want to study poetry in this city, you might want to check out the Toronto Poetry Club. The club meets each month, where several poets read their poems aloud. But in order for you to read yours aloud, you have to RSVP and reserve your slot.
This opportunity allows your peers to critique your work and suggest what better ways to improve your writing—if you still need improving.
Another option that you can also explore is the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. This university offers a program on Poetry and Songwriting which gives you in-depth knowledge for poetry and its other aspects.
After finishing this program, you’re eligible for a Creative Writing certificate should you wish to pursue it.
Montréal is the city to go to if you love international events. The city is the number one host city in North America and there are just tons of festivals and events all year-round. If this kind of scene excites you, you’d better give this city a visit.
But other than being a lively city, this is also one of the largest francophone cities other than Paris. Its residents are able to speak both French and English, which is why a lot of schools also teach in French.
Learning poetry in this francophone city can also be quite exciting. The first place you can learn poetry from is the Quebec Writers’ Federation where several services and programs are being offered.
Here, workshops are offered all throughout the year and some of them include: Crafty Poetry —Section 1 and 2, Crafty Poetry, and workshops conducted by established poets in Montréal.
Another option that you can explore is the Creative Writing course of Dawson College. Although this doesn’t necessarily focus on poetry, there are still courses that focus on the subject itself.
The course is only 30 hours and doesn't require any subjects to be taken beforehand. You can expect exercises, discussions, and editing from this course.
If you want to go coastal, Vancouver can also be a great place for you to study in. here, you’re both going to get the best of both worlds from nature—the inviting sea and the tall mountains.
The city is mostly known for its seafood given its close proximity to the ocean. But other than that, you could also explore a million other cuisines in this city. Tourists also get to enjoy several spots that give you a taste of what it’s like to live in this side of the country.
Should you gain an interest in studying poetry in this city, first check out Simon Fraser University’s Creative Writing Program. The program invites both aspiring writers and poets to gain a holistic approach to writing.
While the program tackles several forms of writing, the courses that do focus on poetry are Poetry 1 and Poetry 2. If you want to join activities, also give Lunch Poems a try—it’s an online activity for poets.
Another university you can check out is the University of British Columbia. The university boasts its world-renowned faculty who, themselves, are published and established authors. These authors give students a variety of opportunities to learn and hone their skills.
The program focuses not just on poetry but also on writing fiction, screenplay, podcasting, video game writing, and graphic novels.
The sunny city of Calgary is also a great place to learn poetry. There are several spots that aspiring poets can get inspiration from, such as the Canadian Rockies. It’s also surrounded by valleys and uplands that are a stark contrast against the region’s typical landscapes.
It was turned into a city in 1894 just a decade before the province of Alberta was created. Despite it being a young city, it’s now a headquarter for both the administrative and financial side of the petroleum industry.
Going back to poetry, you can improve your poetry writing through the University of Calgary Continuing Education’s Creative Writing Certificate. This certificate focuses on the exploration of different forms and genres of writing—not just poetry.
The program is flexible and interactive, giving students a different way of learning the theories much easily.
Another option that you can explore is the Online Poetry Cafe. It used to be a physical activity, but considering the current pandemic, it has moved its medium to Zoom. The cafe runs every Sunday, from 12:30PM to 2:30Pm, where participants have exercises, workshops, and discussions.
The capital city of Canada also doesn’t fall short of options. Ottawa is expectedly overflowing with some of the world’s best institutions, making it a great place to learn anything and everything under the sun.
As for poetry, there are several key places that you should know about if you ever consider studying in this busy city.
The first of which is the Ottawa Public Library which is considered to be the largest bilingual—French and English—library in the entire North America. It has more than 34 branches all over the city and offers both virtual and physical services to its patrons.
Currently, the public library conducts workshops for different forms of literature. A series of workshops is dedicated to poetry—the Writing and Poetry Workshops. These workshops give in-depth knowledge and support to both published and aspiring writers.
Carleton University also has its own set of workshops dedicated to poetry. If you happen to be a study of this university, you can ask the Department of English Language and Literature to connect you to their Fiction and Poetry workshops.
However, in order to participate, you must submit your portfolio ahead of time to secure your slot since a lot of students join the said workshops.
Last but not least is Edmonton. It’s known as the “Gateway to the North” because the city functions as Canada’s link to northern communities through various means of transportation—air, road, and rail.
It’s also one of the country’s sunniest cities apart from Calgary.
One of the places you can learn poetry from is the University of Alberta where you can take a Creative Writing course. Several courses are offered under this one, some of which are the following: Introduction to Writing Poetry, Intermediate Poetry, A Poetics of Treaty, and many more.
MacEwan University also has its own program for aspiring poets. If you’re already a student of this university, you can step up your game by taking a Creative Writing minor where several courses cover poetry.
But take note, it doesn’t just really cover poetry, it also includes fiction, creative nonfiction, and script writing.
And of course, being so close to Calgary, you can also join the Online Poetry Cafe every Sunday, just make sure you take note of the time.
Find Yourself a Poetry Tutor in Canada
If poetry classes, workshops, or clubs aren’t really your thing, then you could always explore hiring your own private poetry tutor.
These tutors can and will design a personalized poetry learning program for you so that you can learn all the basics and techniques in poetry writing. You won’t even have to worry about a schedule because that’s exactly one of the things that you can negotiate with your chosen tutor.
And where else can you find these tutors? No other place than Superprof!
At Superprof, you’re connected to poets and professionals who are more than willing to teach you what they know in the best way possible for you. Other than their description, you can also see their rates and reviews made by some of their students.
With all this information, it’s not unlikely that you’ll find a tutor you’ll be compatible with. It doesn’t even matter whether you’re in Calgary or Vancouver, just simply type in your location and wait for the website to do its magic.
What are you waiting for? Find a Superprof tutor today!