Saturday, October 22, 2016

fwd: Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Project: Call for Poets?

Toronto poet, editor, fiction writer and critic Priscila Uppal [see her 'on writing' piece here] recently sent out this call:


I am applying to the Canada Council's New Chapter one-time funding opportunity for something I call ANOTHER DYSFUNCTIONAL CANCER POEM PROJECT. (I spoke to the CC officer yesterday who was very encouraging of the application.) The project has several different platforms; all with the goal of bringing poetry to those affected by cancer across the country (either working professionally as doctors, nurses, social oncologists, medical students, naturopaths...; or personally, as patients, survivors, caregivers, supporters...).

I propose to travel to the cities where our medical universities are located across the country and to conduct poetry workshops with both cancer care professionals/ medical students, as well as those personally affected by cancer care. These workshops would culminate in public readings as well as the production of broadsheets/chapbooks to be exhibited/distributed to various venues where cancer care is offered. While I will be participating in the workshops and readings and writing poetry of my own, I am applying for funding to involve other established or emerging writers as well (all writers would be paid according to Canada Council rates for workshop/reading fees, as well as for some travel or accommodation for those inside the particular province to travel to the city of the medical school).

IF YOU ARE A WRITER INTERESTED IN LEADING A WORKSHOP OR PARTICIPATING IN A READING please send me a short letter of support/intent that I can attach to my application  (send to by OCT 27th--it doesn't have to be long, just address it to Canada Council New Chapter and say if you want to be involved in a workshop and/or reading and maybe a few lines about why--importance of project or your relationship to the material)  You don't have to be a medical professional or someone who has experienced cancer. We all know and love someone who has been affected by cancer--you just need to be willing to promote the writing of cancer-experience related poems for others or for yourself. (And as stated above, you will be paid according to CC rates.)

The project also proposes that in addition to the broadsheets and chapbooks that will be produced during the period of workshops and readings, select poems will also be featured on a website devoted to the project and others eventually published as a print book anthology with an established literary Canadian publisher. Of course, copyright rests with each poet, so participation in a workshop or reading does not mean you have already committed to publication--I just want to let you know that book publication will be proposed as the final step in the project's dissemination.

The core belief of this project is that the imagination can be a very powerful tool in the experience of illness. Creative health needs to be nurtured and strengthened alongside physical and mental health. If you join me in this core belief, please let me know! Many thanks,

Priscila Uppal

1 comment:

Robert Hogg said...

I've been through cancer, but found it extremely difficult to write about. I had much more success faced with death during a bout of hepatitis fifty years ago, and exorcised my demons pretty successfully in The Connexions. Roland Prevost of Ottawa has been quite successful in writing out his cancer, and like mysel seems to be out of danger now. This sounds like a noble endeavor and I wish you well with yr project.