Dive into poems as we reflect on creative practice, projects, and passion. If you’re looking for more creative energy in your life, join our Hummingbird community. Each week we use poetry as a portal to chat about creativity, arts, literature, and life with co-hosts Catherine Graham and Jessica Outram.
Omit Needless Words
In this last episode of our season we explore the writing rule omit needless words. Jessica talks about revision through the four seasons of story. We chat about the importance of listening to the work, allowing for discovery through play, trusting our gut reaction and following our instincts. Also, Julia Child, dreams, Seamus Heaney and what leads us to this: who I am as a writer. All this and more.
What Branches Above Us and Spreads Below
What branches above us and spreads below: How two poets connect with the oak tree.
Catherine shares the story behind her poem “Oak” from The Celery Forest and Jessica shares the story behind her poem “On Being a Tree” from The Thing with Feathers. We talk about the thin line between the living and dead, dreams, ancestors, mothers, air-dancing and what it is to be inside a song.
Hidden Passages & the Energizing Spin of Spring
Circles, beginnings, awakenings and bursts. Catherine reads her poem “Chthonic” from Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects. We explore a poem’s soundscape and how poems communicate with each other. Catherine talks about how the colour red is key to her work and Jessica talks about how ideas move towards us or away from us to find a home. We explore cycles and season and what thoughts are with us when we’re writing. Also process as art and writing by hand.
The Otherworldly: The ease and unease embedded in transformation. We explore fairy trees, the wee folk, thorns, blooms and portals. Also, secret gardens, hums and hummingbirds and the real estate of the poet. Catherine reads an excerpt from her second novel, The Most Cunning Heart, and Jessica reads her poem “If She Had a Secret Garden” from The Thing with Feathers. What is it to travel further into the self? Plus connections, relationships and how stories help us to see and be seen.
The Between: from writing to publishing to letting the book go. We talk about good questions to ask an author, energetic tendrils and the intimacy of the first person. Catherine reads an excerpt from her second novel, The Most Cunning Heart and Jessica talks about her first poetry book, The Thing with Feathers.
How does poetry transport us to other places? We explore inwardness through Gwendolyn MacEwen’s poems “Dark Pines Under Water” and “Invocations” and talk about how poems are vessels for holding mysteries and untold stories. We share the impact MacEwen’s poetry has had on our creative journeys, outer/inner worlds, what’s creepy and/or triggering, and how what we’re called to share comes through a full body response. Tom Thompson, discomfort, calling the voice up—all this and more.
This podcast is sooooo good!
Thank you so much for your insightful conversations. I love the connection between your chats and other artists and books or sites you suggest. Some I am familiar with and others I am excited to explore! I love listening while I work... no play ;)❤️
Anja Hertle, mosaic art in Grafton