Registration for these 3-Day Masterclass Seminars will take place through Eventbrite

The masterclass seminars run for 1.5 hours each day of the conference, so all 5 seminars will run concurrently three times.

Seminar A: Text in J207
Seminar B: Sound in J208
Seminar C: Performance in Theatre 2
Seminar D: Decolonization in C213
Seminar E: Digitization in Humanities Boardroom, A102

Gary Barwin

Sound workshop
Gary Barwin
Photo by Jason Camlot 

What is the sound of language without the words? How can you use the sounds, melodies, rhythms, and timbres of the language you have already mastered to create dynamic sound works? This three-part interactive workshop explores the resources of sound poetry, extended vocal technique and digital processing as applied to the voice and the performance of text. The workshop will also consider how to turn text into sound compositions and how components of a particular text (including its form and structure) can be translated into audio compositions with or without voice. Topics will include: how to create solo works for the voice, exploring the sounds and resources of your own voice, the collaborative creation of sound works, improvisation, graphic scores, group improvisation and the use of live digital processing.

Gary Barwin is a writer, musician, composer, and multidisciplinary artist. A PhD in music composition, Barwin has been performing his text and sound-based poetry and music since the 1980s as a solo artist and with a variety of ensembles including projects with Stuart Ross, Gregory Betts, Lillian Allen and arraymusic. He has performed and broadcast his work internationally in China, Japan, the US and Europe. His writing, music, media works and visuals have also been presented and broadcast internationally. The author of 21 books of fiction, poetry, and work for children, his novel, Yiddish for Piratesa national bestseller, won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, the Canadian Jewish Literary Award was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award.

Janet Marie Rogers

Mohawk poet, radio producer, media, sound and performance artist Janet Rogers is one part of 2Ro media a Kanien’kehá:ka media collective who produce creative media work based in their cultural birthrights and ways to maintain a relationship to their land base as they live away from home. Janet will share a series of short media pieces from the “For This Land” body of work which will be the basis for discussion around the role art plays in resistance and re-Indigenizing actions.

Janet Marie Rogers

 Janet Marie Rogers is a Mohawk/Tuscarora writer from Six Nations. She was born in Vancouver British Columbia, lived in Stoney Creek, Hamilton, and Toronto, Ontario. Janet works in the genres of poetry, spoken word performance poetry, video poetry and recorded poetry with music. Janet is also a radio broadcaster, documentary producer, media and sound artist. She produced and hosted Native Waves Radio on CFUVfm from 2007-2017, and her music column Tribal Clefs was part of CBC Victoria’s programming from 2008-2016. Her radio documentaries “Bring Your Drum: 50 years of Indigenous Protest Music” and “Resonating Reconciliation” won Best Radio at the imagaineNATIVE Film and Media festival 2011 and 2013 and her 6-part radio doc series NDNs on the Airwaves won two awards at the T.O. Webfest in 2018. She was Poet Laureate of the City of Victoria from 2012 to 2015.

Lillian Allen

Lillian Allen

Following the examples of Louise Bennett, Oku Onoura, Clifton Joseph, and others before and after, this workshop will approach performance as a mode of embodying texts in a politically contentious time and place. We will study musicality, the rhythms, pre-language nuances and post-language impulses that create a full experience of expression. By considering the cultural structures of our language, and our performance of those structures in how we sing, speak, and embody meaning, this workshop will make conscious unseen ideologies in our writing, presenting, performance, and pedagogy. Through this approach to performance, we can create and empower our own textures and our own picture of life, we can create community, name the nameless and un-nameables, craft language & linguistic interventions, create new ways of seeing and knowing. In this way, we can align politics and aesthetics and political activism, root our bodies in anti-colonial and decolonizing resistance. We will consider various methodologies to explicate and advance this coming-to-voice and new visions, with special attention to new and exciting movements with grassroots revolutionary zeal and Black aesthetics.


Lillian Allen is a professor of creative writing at Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD). Two time JUNO Award winner and trailblazer in the field of spoken word and dub poetry, Allen artistically explores the aesthetics of old and new sounds in music to create her distinctive leading edge brand of Canadian reggae with new world sounds in her poetry recordings, with her powerful reggae dub poetry/spoken word album ANXIETY (2012), her groundbreaking first solo Juno awardwinning album Revolutionary Tea Party, a Ms. Magazine Landmark Album, followed by another Juno winner, Conditions Critical. Her third album, Freedom & Dance and her recording for children and young people, Nothing But a Hero, were released to critical acclaim. Allen’s debut book of poetry, Rhythm An’ Hardtimes became a Canadian best seller, blazing new trails for poetic expression and opened up the form. Her other collections, Women Do This Everyday and Psychic Unrest are studied across the educational spectrum.

Derek Beaulieu

Concrete poetry expresses the lyricism of traditional poetry with the tools of advertising and logos. Poems find metrics, rhyme and beauty in the  expressiveness of graphic design, letter design, symmetry, wit and balance. One of the world’s foremost visual poets, Derek Beaulieu’s poetics embraces punctuation, typewriters, dry-transfer lettering and the nuance of visual arts into the historic tradition of concrete and visual poetry. Beaulieu’s masterclass will discuss examples of international visual poetry and will mentor students through hands-on exploration of group and individualistic composition.

Derek Beaulieu

Derek Beaulieu is the author / editor of 20 collections of poetry, prose and criticism including two volumes of his selected work Please No More Poetry- the poetry of derek beaulieu (2013)(pdf) and Konzeptuelle Arbeiten (2017) (pdf). His most recent volume of fiction, a, A Novel was published by Paris’s Jean Boîte Editions. Beaulieu has spoken, performed and exhibited his visual work across Canada, the United States and Europe and has won multiple local and national awards for his teaching and dedication to students. Derek Beaulieu was the 2014–2016 Poet Laureate of Calgary, Canada and is Director of Literary Arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

Lucy Collins

This masterclass seminar will introduce participants to the digitization methods used by the Irish Poetry Reading Archive and The Digital Library at UCD. Over the course of the three days, we will consider the historical and theoretical framing of digitization at UCD and in Ireland, more broadly, examine the practical and technical process of digitization, and, finally, address the legacy of these efforts by examining the use value in the present and in the classroom.

Seminar Facilitation by Jason Camlot (Concordia U), Mike O’Driscoll (U Alberta), Annie Murray (U Calgary), Mike O’Driscoll (U Alberta), Karis Shearer (U British Columbia, Okanagan), and Darren Wershler (Concordia U)

Lucy Collins is Associate Professor of English at University College Dublin. Educated at Trinity College Dublin and at Harvard University, where she spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar, she teaches and researches in the area of modern poetry and poetics.

Recentbooks include Poetry by Women in Ireland: A Critical Anthology 1870–1970 (2012) and a monograph, Contemporary Irish Women Poets: Memory and Estrangement (2015), both from Liverpool University Press. She has published widely on contemporary poets from Ireland, Britain and America, and is co-founder of the Irish Poetry Reading Archive, a national digital repository.