2. Breaking Down Poetry Workshop - The FOLD

2. Breaking Down Poetry Workshop

An interactive understanding of poetry with Canisia Lubrin and Billy-Ray Belcourt.


Session Description

Poets Canisia Lubrin and Billy-Ray Belcourt guide teachers, readers, and skeptics alike through an interactive encounter with poetry – mixing readings, activities and lessons on how to break it all down to unleash the power of poetry. [CC]

Thursday, April 30th : 12:00pm – 1:30pm EST

This event has already taken place. Thank you to all who attended! Find other events to attend and view the full schedule of events here.

Canisia and Billy-Ray will be referencing several poets and poems and playing a poetry “BINGO” during the course of the session. You can download the poems and the BINGO card here:

Day 61, by Julian Okot Bitek

MEQ – people – kaie


Featured Speaker(s)

Billy-Ray Belcourt
Canisia Lubrin

Billy-Ray Belcourt

Billy-Ray Belcourt is from the Driftpile Cree Nation and lives in Vancouver. He is the author of This Wound is a World (Frontenac 2017), NDN Coping Mechanisms (House of Anansi 2019), and A History of My Brief Body (Hamish Hamilton 2020).

Billy-Ray will appear in Brunch N’ Learn: Breaking Down Poetry, The Power and Politics of Prizes, and will moderate part of the discussion in Reconciliation and Resistance.


Canisia Lubrin

Teacher, editor, and critic, Canisia Lubrin has been published internationally, including translations into Spanish, Italian, and forthcoming in German and French. In 2019 she was Writer-In-Residence at Queen’s University and poetry faculty at Banff Centre. She’s received nominations for the Toronto Book Award, Journey Prize, Gerald Lampert, Pat Lowther, and others. Lubrin’s Voodoo Hypothesis was a CBC Best Book. The Dyzgraphxst (M&S) is her second book. She earned an MFA at the University of Guelph.

Canisia will facilitate Brunch N’ Learn: Breaking Down Poetry with Billy-Ray Belcourt and will appear in Reconciliation and Resistance.

The FOLD is a remarkable and wonderful event for authors and attendees alike. What an amazing community, dedicated to the vital need for inclusive stories and the critical role they play in building a better world.

Soraya Chemaly, author of Rage Becomes Her

Field Guide to the North American Teenager is my first novel and FOLD was my first Canadian literary festival. While American and Canadian culture overlap quite a bit, especially when it comes to bookshelves, Canadian literature is unique and I was very heartened by to be embraced by that community I consider home despite residing in the US. It was a homecoming I didn’t know I needed!

Ben Philippe, author of Field Guide to the North American Teenager

The Festival of Literary Diversity was an absolute joy–the organizers thought of *everything* and by anticipating authors’ needs, they freed us to focus on connecting with the audience and each other. There was no pretension, no posturing–just very genuine conversations with invested writers and engaged readers.

Zetta Elliott, author of Dragons in a Bag

I have been to a lot of writers festivals and the FOLD is definitely near the top of the list of those I want to be invited back to.

Harold Johnson, author of the memoirs Clifford and Firewater

Being part of such a clearly diverse, inclusive and mutually respectful group was thrilling and inspiring: a glimpse of a better world.

Kathy Page, author of Dear Evelyn, winner of the 2018 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize

Wherever I go in Canada and find another writer of colour, we eventually end up gushing about how great the FOLD is, how by normalizing diversity it liberates us to talk to audiences about craft. It’s hard to imagine the literary landscape returning to a prehistoric pre-FOLD era.

Ian Williams, Author of the Giller Prize-winning novel Reproduction

FOLD is a festival experience unlike any other I’ve had. The FOLD team strive to create a space that’s welcoming and engaging, while allowing for curiosity, ingenuity and the fostering of real community – and they succeed, every year.

Alicia Elliott, author of A Mind Spread Out On The Ground

The FOLD is one of the most important literary events on this continent. By focusing on diverse voices and giving authors space to share their stories and speak their truths, it is revolutionizing the writing and storytelling realm as we know it.

Waubgeshig Rice, author of Moon Of The Crusted Snow

Being part of the FOLD community has provided me with a strong sense of belonging. Sharing diverse stories and listening to different voices that broaden my understanding of the world has impacted me as a person and motivated me as a writer.

Ann Y.K. Choi, author of Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety

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