Season 4

Summer with Rilke

Season 4, Episode 21

We discuss Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke, a book we read in a workshop together twenty years ago when our friendship began. We read an excerpt from the first letter that explores life lessons and the interaction between the inner and outer self. This leads us to chat about what it means to be a writer vs author, the role of attention, and connecting to the core of the inner self. Plus the importance of the everyday as a source for writing and the letting go of outcome.

Season 4

The Writing Spiral

Season 4, Episode 20

Our conversation circles and spirals as we revisit Jessica’s book The Writing Spiral: Learning as a Writer. Rumi, T. S. Eliot, solitude and self-awareness all feed our talk about the labyrinth as a metaphor for our life path and how to arrive at the centre of the self. Plus Emily Carr and the “unity of movement.”

Season 4

Creative Life, Creative Journey, Creative Conversation

Season 4, Episode 19

We explore looking back to look ahead. Catherine talks about her just published book, Put Flowers Around Us and Pretend We’re Dead: New and Selected Poems, the micro journey and the macro, the role of attentiveness and what it’s like putting a New and Selected book together. We also share quotes by Mary Oliver, Albert Einstein and a mourning dove visits us too.

Season 4

Heartbeat of the Ground

Season 4, Episode 18

We talk about the heartbeat of the ground (a line from Catherine’s poem “A Leash of Deer”), the pulse of everything, plus the current that connects us. Jessica shares her poem “A River Flows” and its origin story. We discover how a poem can hold a poem beneath it. Catherine reads her poem “Chthonic” and takes us to the underground. We see how imagery can lure us to slip beneath.

Season 4

Animal Encounters

Season 4, Episode 17

Catherine shares her poem “A Leash of Deer” and the story behind it. (Yes, it started with a coaster purchased in Edinburgh.) We talk about how poems and encounters with animals open us up and bring us closer at the same time, how they expand and contract. Jessica reads an excerpt from her latest book Bernice and the Georgian Bay Gold that includes an encounter with a crow. When we lean into the energies around us, we feel the connections. When we pay attention, the gifts come.

Season 4

The Shake and Shimmer Loop

Season 4, Episode 16

We explore how art shapes our lives and our lives shape art. We talk about what shakes and shimmers, negative capability, and chance encounters with animals. Catherine reads an excerpt from her novel Quarry. We move from the ‘ice-cream realm’ to the weight of grief. We realize if we can let go of control and let the body guide us—that’s when the magic appears.

Season 4

Ancestors and Family Part 2

Season 4, Episode 15

We continue to explore how ancestors and family impact our writing. Jessica talks about her Métis roots and shares her poem “Search Out the Water.” This poem explores the life of her Great-x5-Grandfather, Ezekiel Solomon. She also shares an excerpt from her forthcoming novel for middle-grade children, Bernice and the Georgian Bay Gold. We talk about reciprocity, silence and how to listen deeply.

Season 4

Ancestors and Family

Season 4, Episode 14

We explore how ancestors and family impact our writing. Catherine reads a passage from her novel Quarry that links silence with trust and creativity. She also shares some excerpts from Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric. Jessica and Catherine talk about the darker side of silence and how the act of writing can lead us to truths.

Season 4

Poems That Find Us Part Two

Season 4, Episode 12

What happens when we put loss and hunger on the page? Catherine reads the poem “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop and talks about how this poem opened up new pathways in her writing journey. Jessica shares the story behind her recent discovery of the poem “The Hummingbirds” by Mary Oliver. All this and more. Plus hummingbird cake!