On September 24th, 2022, the Manitoba Writers’ Guild sent representatives to the Tall Grass Prairie to support Turnstone Press and the Nature Conservancy of Canada to promote Sarah Ens’ poetry book, Flyway. Despite the rain, Susan Rocan and Anna Valdron headed south to meet up with a group of poetry and nature enthusiasts. Just as Sarah finished reading lyrical poems from Flyway, the grey clouds thinned, the rain stopped and the group was able to explore the beautiful prairie landscape with conservationist, Norm Gregoire, who led them through “one of the most biologically diverse and productive grasslands in North America”.
(To learn more and keep up to date with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, you can sign up for their e-newsletter, The Leaflet. To donate to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, please visit their online donation page.)
Once back at the Interpretive Centre, Sarah posed questions as writing prompts to the group who, in turn, wrote about and shared their experience, how the prairie landscape inspired them, each one expressing their love of nature.
Guild member Phyllis Cherrett described the experience, “It was a grey day, but perfect weather for a guided tour of the Tall Grass Prairie reserve after a brief introduction to Sarah Enns’ thoughtful poetry. The ground was soft and slightly squishy underfoot, pillowed with tussocky grass alive with tiny frogs. Birds stood out clearly against the low-slung clouds and flung themselves through the air.
“After the tour Sarah offered several writing prompts, and time to follow them in, and the writing time was well judged-just long enough to get some work done, but too short to get really nervous about the product. Several of us read from what we had written.
“Lots of fun, new information, and possibly the beginning of another chapbook, depending on how the pictures turned out.”
(To purchase Sarah’s book, Flyway, please visit Turnstone Press.)
The afternoon was enjoyed by all who attended the event. Some participants, who were unfamiliar with us, dropped by our table to learn a little more about the Manitoba Writers’ Guild and we shared information about the Guild and upcoming programs, such as the Creating a Docudrama workshop series beginning October 20, 2022 and Dennis Valdron’s Self-Publishing workshop series beginning in February. For further information on our programs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.