So, over the years I’ve taught, and lectured on, poetry at a handful universities Canada and the US, including UofT and the MFA program at UBC, and so this year, at a time of deep strain on the job market out here, I’ve decided to strike out on my own and offer some courses for new and emerging poets. I firmly believe that everyone has “poetic thoughts”, or moments of connection that resemble poetic thoughts, and that the main difference between someone like myself and the average plumber/doctor/clerk/site supervisor/etc/etc. is that I have spent the last 25 years of my life learning to recognize those thoughts when they happen and training myself to write them down in interesting ways. The thoughts happen to everyone, but the skills needed to craft them into poems are like the skills needed to build a bookshelf: you can learn them. So I’m going to start by offering a couple courses in skills-building for poets. They’ll be a combination 8 weeks of asynchronous online learning and optional synchronous meet-ups and workshopping. One starts in January, one in March. Great gifts for the person in your life who needs a bit of structure and a group for motivation. Everyone from beginners to emerging poets are ideal for the first course in January. Listen, you’re going to be stuck at home anyway, why not learn some new tricks and skills while you’re there?