Are you a closet poet? Want to get together with others who write — or like — poetry? In 2015, Sarah Ripplinger got a Neighbourhood Small Grant from the Vancouver Foundation (managed by Kits House) and started the monthly Kits Poetry Group.
Sarah’s grant provided funds for four months of renting space and providing snacks and a couple of honoraria (the maximum you can offer is two at $50 each). Like many neighbourhood small grant projects, though, the seed money sprouted into an ongoing group.
About 10-12 people usually show up. Sarah facilitates introductions and arranges a featured poet to talk about their work. We often do a writing exercise and share or not. Everything is optional. What I love is that there’s a nice community feeling and support but no pressure. When I go, I usually introduce myself by saying, “I’m Mary. I don’t write poetry. I write blog posts.” They’re OK with that.
Sarah Ripplinger has been writing poetry as a means of self-expression and reflection since she learned how to write. Sarah’s been making Kits her ‘hood since 2012. She enjoys the quick access to downtown and shopping from her new home, along with the many friends she’s made in the Kits community. Here’s a link to read some of her poetry.
The guest in October was Bonnie Nish who started Twisted Poets and Pandora’s Collective, and lived and wrote in Kits “back in the day.” Sita Carboni, another co-founder, attended as well. We all learned a little bit about how the then weekly Kitsilano Writers Group formed in 2002 and then gave birth to Pandora’s Collective. Bonnie Nish and her organization are a major positive force for literature and literacy growth in BC. Read more about Bonnie here: http://www.bonnienish.com.
Kits has a rich history of arts and culture. There are and have been lots of artists, writers and musicians in our ‘hood (hordes, you might say). So far as we know, this is the only Kits-based poetry group right now – but please comment if you know of other open groups.
Kits Poetry Group
Next meeting: February 2, 6:30-8:00 pm (usually every first Tuesday)
Where: MLA David Eby’s community office (2909 West Broadway)
Guest: Miranda Pearson
Last modified: February 1, 2016