The road to Uncommon Grounds, the book, has been a long one. Made longer by the pandemic that struck just as we were deciding publishing might be a really cool idea.
It’s a rare thing, this collective. It started as all classes do. Nine relative strangers in a room united for a common interest. We are poets. We write poetry. We were looking for community in the midst of a Calgary winter. The Alexandra Writers Centre Society had offered a mid-level poetry writing class, taught by Laurie Anne Fuhr. We all knew Laurie, some via Poetry Cafe, others by open mic nights, some through her beautiful book of poetry “night flying”. So we came together to listen and write and play with words. Together.
It became obvious as the weeks went on there was a deep bond forming between us. The freedom to write and be understood was getting under our skin. And the poems! Endless beauty and power and courage shining bright.
As the class drew to a conclusion, our poetry encased in chapbooks, the germ of an idea was planted. A book. A book with a spine.
And then. Global pandemic. City locked down.
We are determined poets. Zoom meetings became our new best friend. We met and workshopped and talked and produced poetry. And a book was born. With labour pains. We shed tears over loss. Had painful conversations. Dusted ourselves off and carried on.
Our plan is to be flexible and welcoming and to continue to write and workshop poetry. There will be more books birthed.
The collective may change. The concept will remain stable.