Spontaneous poetry booth opens Friday

Picton Branch of the Prince Edward County Public Library. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

At the County of Prince Edward Public Library, we eagerly look forward to each writer in residence at the Al Purdy A Frame.

Every resident organizes a community project, often held at one of the public library’s six branches. In August, we hosted Ariel Gordon and Tanis MacDonald at the Wellington Branch Library for “Forest-bathing/Rewriting the Archive.” Tanis and Ariel alternated prompts while leading participants on a walk around the Wellington Library. Ariel used forest- bathing techniques for her prompts, which rely on deep focus on the trees and meditation while breathing in volatile substances from the trees, called phytoncides (or wood essential oils). Tanis asked participants to bring a personal/family artifact of their choice, so that they could consider the contrast between made object and plant life. This made for a very interesting and thought provoking workshop!

In September, we will welcome Ronna Bloom to the Picton Branch Library. Ronna is the author of six books of poetry, and developed the first Poet in Residence programme at Mount Sinai Hospital/Sinai Health which ran from 2012-2019. Her Spontaneous Poetry Booths and RX for Poetry have appeared in hospital waiting rooms, bookstores, fundraisers and arts events in Canada, The UK and Italy. Ronna’s poetry has been broadcast on the CBC, recorded by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, translated into Bangla and Chinese, and shortlisted for several Canadian literary awards. A Possible Trust: The Poetry of Ronna Bloom, selected with an introduction by Phil Hall will be published by Wilfred Laurier University Press in 2023. Ronna is the Al Purdy A-Frame Writer in Residence for September 2022. You can learn more about her on her website, ronnabloom.com Ronna’s community project is The Spontaneous Poetry Booth. On Friday, September 9 – with a rain date of September 10, drop by the Picton Branch Library between 12 – 1:30 p.m. She will write you a poem on the spot, after asking the question “What do you need a poem for?”

The Spontaneous Poetry Booth will be held outdoors and all are welcome! If you are interested in staying up to date with the latest events at the library, you can pick up a copy of our newsletter (Literally News) at any branch of the library, check the website calendar at peclibrary.org or find us on social media. We are on Facebook as “The County of Prince Edward Public Library and Archives” and on Instagram at @peclibrary.org. If you have never used Facebook or Instagram and would like help, the library’s tech help team are happy to help.

Reach them by email at techhelp@peclibrary.org or call (613) 476-5962.