David Adams Richards

I met up with David Adams Richards this weekend at the International Festival of Authors (IFOA) in Toronto. He was my mentor at The Humber School for Writers. David is one of the most accomplished writers in Canada. I still can’t believe that I was lucky enough to work with him. At all times, he encouraged me to persevere. We completed the first draft…

Promoting Korean literature

Jae Kim is currently a student at the University of Toronto. In September of 2013, he founded the University of Toronto Korean English Literature Society (KELS). His goal is to encourage thoughtful reflection of Korean contemporary culture. He shared that while Korean pop music, film, and cuisine have gained tremendous popularity within North American society, books and other literary works by writers of Korean heritage…

Writers as readers

Writers love to read. It was my turn to post something on the 11th Floor Writers‘ blog so I asked the members what they were reading. They had a lot to share. Please click here to continue.

Today’s Sonnet

I had no idea that the sonnet was alive and thriving today. In some cases, the traditional form has been reinvented so much that the only identifiable factor is the sonnet’s fourteen-line length. For class, I need to write two sonnets this week – a traditional one and a contemporary one. I’m not sure which one will be easier to pen. Examples of contemporary…

Contemporary Poetry

In Thirteen Ways of Looking for a Poem: A Guide to Writing Poetry, Wendy Bishop states that “contemporary poets prefer rhyme that doesn’t call attention to itself; concrete, particular images; and conversational… language.” Since starting a course in contemporary poetry, I’ve been intrigued by Billy Collins’ poems. They epitomize the “unexpected phrases and strong sensory details” that Bishop includes in her characteristics of contemporary poetry….

Stories for writers

I’ve had to read many interesting stories since enrolling in a fiction class as part of my MFA studies. I wanted to pass along some of the titles. The following stories are housed in Joyce Carol Oates’ book entitled Telling Stories: An Anthology for Writers. You can read them online by clicking on the story titles. “Aren’t You Happy For Me?” by Richard Bausch…

Dream, set goals, celebrate

June and July – the months of graduations, commencements and convocations. Over the years, I’ve attended them as a student, as a teacher, and most recently as a parent and as a guest. This year, I have had the honour of speaking at two ceremonies. The following thoughts highlight the key messages I was trying to convey. Do take the time to celebrate. Like the…

Beyond the corner variety store

I finally saw Kim’s Convenience. What a great play! It made me laugh, and when it hit a little too close to home, it made me cry… The play, written by Ins Choi, takes place in a Korean-owned convenience store in downtown Toronto. I’ve wanted to see this play for a while now and wrote about it in an earlier blog. The play begins…

Two books

I have a tendency of reading more than one book at a time. Right now, Chang-Rae Lee’s A Gesture Life is sitting on my nightstand. It’s what I’m reading at home. Judy Fong Bates’ Midnight at the Dragon Café is in my bag. It gets read everywhere else, especially in my car as I wait for my daughter during her piano lessons and band…

The boy ate an apple

One of my goals this year was to read books by writers of Asian heritage, or to read more stories with protagonists of diverse backgrounds. I regret that growing up and all through these years, I haven’t made it a priority to expose myself to stories told in multicultural voices. Through high school, university, and college curriculums, I have been exposed to a wealth…