Can you believe it? This last year flew by soooooo flipping fast peeps. This year has not only been a time of developing my blog but really seeing my career as a writer take off. I’ve been offered amazing blessings and opportunities. I’ve branched out and performed more often, I’ve been asked to do lectures and workshops and my book 3 Cities is in it’s second run! In terms of the craft of writing itself, as I grow and develop into a woman who has strength and knowledge in herself, this fully reflects the characters and poetry I am compelled to write. Thank you all for journeying with me. As always, I’ve got your top 5 blog post of the past year.
‘Writing in a Tree’
Top 5 Favourite Blog Posts
This year I’ve done many workshops with so many different groups but one has been very memorable for me is the “I DO” project through the Forced Marriage Initiative in Scarborough. Once a week me and these amazing young women would delve into deep issues of domestic violence, forced marriage and other key issues around gender violence. And we had a lot of fun getting to know each other and ourselves.
I guess because the show is next week, this has been a favourite post. I am really happen with the turn out of the Mood Indigo show in April, plus I’m stoked about the video recording of ‘Origins of Indigo”. If you haven’t checked it yet, you certainly should.
I photographed my step-by-step journey of my first trip to Allan Gardens. This unexpectedly adventurous Monday afternoon has me going back and reliving the fun, laughing at the jokes and sharing the experience with friends.
I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about the intersectionality of being a black female Canadian writer. I attempt to deconstruct the hyper hyphenated label and explore any obligations and deviations of this title.
For the first time I wrote a piece in memory of someone very dear to me who past away. My goal with my blog and my writing as a whole is to open up and be fearless about my personal life spilling into my art. I hope you enjoy the piece.
What Art Form Do I Practice?: A writing challenge to pen out my manifesto for my writing
Meet Mirabelle: I adopted a tree last summer and here is my photographic journey with being a foster (tree)mother
Blackfest: Whitney French Writes takes her book and poems to York University’s Blackfest, I’m a regular merchant!
Introspective: A rare glimpse of me centering myself and recognizing my insecurities
Mention of Mermaids: a poem and my very first sonnet
And if you feel like getting especially nostalgic (it’s all good, I don’t judge) you can flip it back to Year Two Blog-o-versary or even as far as my first blog-o-versary in 2011! It’s been a beautiful three years, what wait for the next three!
Although it has been a month exactly, I’ve finally uploaded some photos from my b-day. I was blessed to spend my 26th birthday in Vancouver. It was my first Earth-Strong away from family but my friends truly made me feel special!
I love this one. One a typical residential street this gorgeous tree has leaves flourishing on the right half and the left half is barren of leaves. Is it because of the angle of the sun, a defect? I can only guess.
MOSS COVERED GOODNESS!
Even the thieves got jobs.
Or without me posing by the Lynn Canyon Valley Suspension Bridge. Don’t mess with me, I’m wearing Tims.
Hopscotching on stumps…can she make it across?
So grateful for all the people who made my birthday memorable and for my family and friends who called me, texted me, email and sent birthday love. If you want more, watch some sweet b-day footage of me enjoying Nature’s Beauty with friends!
Whitney French Writes, and occassionally performs.
As a poet and writer I used to be TERRIFIED of performing. Me and a mic stand were life-long enemies. But ever since I having my first gig with a full set at Ellington’s Cafe, my confidence grew. Not only that, I began understanding the art of performing: I became much more aware of my voice, my breath, my awkwardly nervous twitches.
With each nerve-wrecking show, I got (a little bit) better. I’ve been trying to record more and more of my performances, at first for myself to see my improvement, but now, for others to see and comment, recommend suggestions, even like!
CHECK OUT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL (if you dare!)
Over and out!
People have been asking, “when is you’re next show?” and now I got a new show coming up. Mark you’re calendars funky folks for May 25th. Womyn of Indigo promises to be a night of live music and poetry from amazingly talented women. On the bill is: Carissa Baron, Aria Zenua, Dara Njeri, Lilly Mason, Enuma and ME! I’m the only poet to balance out the night and I ensure you my set will be tiiiiight!
Check out my video from the previous show featuring the same ladies: MOOD INDIGO!
And if THAT doesn’t get you amped, check out our impromptu promo video here
April was a wickedly productive, adventurous and creative month. I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to British Colombia and share my poetry and conduct workshops. I know! There’s so much recap to fill my faithful blog readers but all in due time (and due downloaded images) but the first slice of BC I wanted to share on writinginatree.com is this video of a piece I performed at Cafenara in Terrace BC. The evening was lovely much love and respect to all the organizers, supporters, performers (expected and unexpected!!!) and audience who came out to show love. Hope you enjoy!
Over and out!
And….the cinquain! Phew! That’s a fair amount of (structured) poems for one night. I’m going to sleep people.
For those who don’t know, a cinquain is a poem that is 5 lines long. The grade-school version goes: first line is a noun, second: two adjectives, third: verbs aka ing words, the fourth: a phrase, and the last one is another noun to describe the subject.
But the version I choose follows the format: first line: 2 syllables, second: 4, third: 6, forth: 8 and the final one 2 syllables.
This cinquain is inspired by a blogger who I follow, Yi-Ching Lin. Her posts are pretty dope, you should check her out actually. The photo is called “counter“. Here’s the cinquain to accompany the photo. Enjoy!
circle her wrists
piercings poke under her lip
no stereotypes, no dyed hair
As promised, for National Poetry Month and to complete the unfinished challenge by Anita Abbasi…I finished a sonnet.
It was hella hard!
And I didn’t even bother with iambic pentameter (I TRIED, DAMN IT, I TRIED!). The funny thing about sonnets are they are a well loved form of poetry, even in this over-dominant unrhyming free-verse driven culture . To help I poked my nose in a book, “The Making of a Sonnet” edited by Edward Hirsch and Eavan Boland. These two are sonnet junkies. There’s five centuries worth of sonnets in this anthology from Shakespeare to Robert Frost to Giuseppe to Goethe to Keats to Raine to Pushkin. It’s intense. There’s even an section of sonnets about sonnets. One poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay is entitled “I will put Chaos into fourteen lines”. That is exactly it, chaotic mash up of 14 lines. Hope you enjoy and don’t judge too hard with the lack of pentameter action (I TRIED DAMN IT!)
In the words of my dear friend, happy sonnet reading!
the mention of mermaids
STOP COPYING AND PASTING MY POEM
iSTOP COPYING AND PASTING MY POEM
a mountain of spindrift hangs on a wave
both father and son walk still on the shore
no glance nor one word do either men save
this trek on this beach, they’ve walked it before
though younger in age, the son sighs heavy
the father breathes calm, a still and hushed mind
like water he pours out his heart all too ready
his father receives the tsunami, too kind
but the mention of mermaids, the father recoils
his son, a grown man, still wrapped up in story
“if you would marry a mortal,” father toils
to dismiss away the mythical allegory
“and yet you married mother,” his son said with a whisper
“on this beach”, the man confessed “was the first time I kissed her.”