Category Archives: poetry workshop

How will you re-invent the sonnet?

One week left to enroll in my Sonnet Workshop at the Toronto New School of Writing. Click here to view course details on the TNSoW website.

And don’t worry, if you don’t want to write traditional sonnets, we’ll also

sexualize (un-bowdlerize)
blasonize (& anti-blasonize)
retreat (don’t tase me, Bard!)
dash off
fend off
bugger off
deep space
upper case (or any case)

. . . and if you like, embrace

the sonnet (or what’s left of it)

Duration: 21 February – 27 March 2012 (6 Tuesdays) 6-8 PM
Location: Of Swallows, 283 College Street, Upper Floor Seminar Room

Click here for more information about the course and instructor bio at the TNSoW website.

Camille Martin

The sexy “little song”: Sonnet Workshop by Camille Martin

How did the sonnet get from Petrarch to Bervin?

How will you re-invent the sonnet?

Find out in my six-week workshop/class on the sonnet at the Toronto New School of Writing. I taught this course last year and was blown away by the class discussions and the poetry written by the participants.

Click here to view the course on the TNSoW website. Register early to reserve your place!

Duration: 21 February – 27 March 2012 (6 Tuesdays) 6-8 PM
Location: Of Swallows, 283 College Street, Upper Floor Seminar Room

“The sonnet . . . is not a form at all but a state of mind.” – William Carlos Williams

Throughout its 800-year history, the sonnet has seen periods of vogue and dormancy, but it just keeps bouncing back, and its contemporary allure to poets shows no signs of abating. Just why did the sonnet come into being, and what accounts for its remarkable longevity?

In this Sonnet Workshop, we’ll explore the enduring appeal of the sexy “little song.” Combining a historical overview of the sonnet with creative writing assignments, this course offers you the opportunity to experience the sonnet as a traditional and experimental network of possibilities.

Through a series of Reading/Writing sessions focused around various poetic models, we’ll deepen our appreciation of the sonnet’s evolution as well as generate our own sonnets, continuing the historical momentum of this ever-popular “state of mind.”

Instructor bio:
Camille Martin is the author of Sonnets (2010), Codes of Public Sleep (2007), and Sesame Kiosk (2001). Of Sonnets, Rae Armantrout observes that “in some ways, these poems are almost traditional,” yet “in these taut, fast-paced, self-aware poems, the lyric meets 21st-century paranoia and sparks fly.” Carol Dorf writes that Martin creates “a world where science and myth intersect,” a “world of a mind reflecting on itself, the natural and built environments, time, and language.” And Jordan Scott speaks of “the magnificence in these poems, a poetic magnetic, propelling you to turn the page.”

Martin has performed her work in over twenty-five cities in the United States, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and France. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Louisiana State University and an M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of New Orleans. She is a seasoned instructor of poetry and workshops in the community and at high schools and universities.

Camille Martin


photo: rob mclennan

I’ve been Influencied! Last Wednesday, Sonnets was the focus of Margaret Christakos’ Influency class at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Education. After Margaret’s warm-up introduction, students read reflections on the book and rob mclennan gave a talk about it (which can be read here). I read from the book (and from my manuscript “Looms”) and then there was a general discussion.

What a brilliant idea, this class! In a few weeks, I’ll be on the other side of the magnifying glass as I give a talk on Kaie Kellough’s Maple Leaf Rag. I’m especially looking forward to hearing Kaie again. I read with him in Montreal a couple of years ago—he’s a mind-blowing performer!



Camille Martin