Writing Workshops, Retreats, Mentoring

Poetry Sanctuary Days with James Dewar

James Dewar's Poetry Sanctuary Days

James Dewar is pleased to announce that starting in January, 2014, he will be leading a monthly poetry writing sanctuary at the Uplands Writing Retreat. This full day retreat will include a lesson on a specific aspect of the craft of poetry, provide writing prompts to inspire participants to explore these aspects, and provide lots of silent time for writing and/or revision.

Participants will also have the opportunity to share their work in group readings, and receive private feedback from James if they choose that option. The objectives are to learn something new about the craft of writing poetry, write new poems, work on revision and share poetry together in a welcoming and inclusive group setting.

Uplands is located in a beautiful, secluded valley on the Oak Ridges Moraine only twenty minutes north of Whitby, and less than an hour’s drive from downtown Toronto.

Reflected treeJames Dewar is the publisher of Piquant Press and Stone’s Throw Publications. He has edited and published several books of poetry for both established and emerging talents, and co-edited many poetry anthologies. He has taught advanced creative writing at Durham College, and has been leading workshops on poetry writing and performance for several years. His poetry was published in The Garden in the Machine and many anthologies and literary journals. He has performed his poetry on CBC radio, Rogers TV and several university radio stations. He enjoys organizing and hosting his monthly poetry reading series in Toronto, Hot-Sauced Words, now in its eighth year, and co-leads, with Sue Reynolds, the Inkslingers monthly poetry workshop, also in Toronto.

He is a past president of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region.

James Dewar’s Poetry Sanctuary Outline

10:00 – 10:15 Greet and settle in
10:15 – 11:00 Poetry Innovation Lesson
11:00 – 11:40 Silent Writing to prompts based on the lesson
11:40 – 11:55 Bio Break
11:55 – 1:00 Sharing the fresh poems together. Participants will indicate the form of feedback that they wish to receive, from reflections on the strengths of the poem, to analysis and suggestions for revision.
1:00 – 1:45 Delicious lunch (provided)
1:45 – 2:00 Additional prompts on the topic of the day
2:00 – 4:00 Silent writing and individual feedback sessions(All participants may send one poem in advance of the workshop to James for individual feedback. During the afternoon session, James will meet for 10 minutes with each participant who chooses this option, and discuss the strengths of the poem and make any recommendations that might make the poem stronger)
4:00 – 5:00 – Participants each share a one page poem with the group. This could be either a new poem written during the day of the retreat, or another poem further along in the revision process. Sharing work is never mandatory. Participants may pass on this aspect if they wish.


COST: $80 per retreat (all taxes included)
Each retreat is limited to 9 participants


Saturday, January 4th… FULLY BOOKED
Sunday, February 16th… FULLY BOOKED
Sunday, March 30th… FULLY BOOKED
Saturday, May 24th… FULLY BOOKED
Saturday, July 26th… FULLY BOOKED
Sunday, August 24th… FULLY BOOKED
Saturday, September 20th… FULLY BOOKED
Sunday, October 19th… ONE SPOT LEFT
Saturday, November 15th… THREE SPOTS LEFT
Sunday, December 14th

Click here to register.


Click here for DIRECTIONS and MAPS.

If I receive your cancellation notice up to five days in advance of the retreat, (for instance, if the retreat is on a Saturday, I must here from you by midnight on the previous Sunday) you may choose to apply your deposit to a future retreat or receive a refund (minus a $20 administration fee).

If you cancel with less than five days notice, (in the example above, for instance, it would be anytime Monday or later) and your spot cannot be filled from a waiting list, no refund will be made. However, you are permitted to sell or gift your spot for that date to another poet, but I must be notified that you are doing this and given the contact information so I can contact the person and ask about any dietary restrictions etc.

NOTE: *If severe winter weather creates dangerous driving conditions, I will call all registered participants by telephone to advise that the workshop will not be held that day. I will also advise the rescheduled date.