On Friday evening, the U of T Writers Co-op reconvened at Hart House for their first meeting of 2010. Enthusiastic about the start of another exciting year together, the group discussed upcoming endeavours. Members had a chance to rekindle their group chemistry and the North Dining Room bubbled with conversation and camaraderie.
First established in October 2006, the U of T Writers Co-op is a social club for aspiring writers on campus. Three years in the running and bolstered by the success of their initiatives, the group is keen on expanding its bounds and achieving a greater presence on campus.
Exchanging Notes —the groups first spoken-word performance—was met with success. The event was held on April 12, 2008 at the Arbour Room in Hart House. Featuring a collaboration of writers and musicians, it represented a contemporary take on the jazz-poetry connection originally explored by the Beat culture. The turnout was larger than the co-op group had anticipated, and the event fulfilled its purpose to publicize and promote the group. The second Exchanging Notes performance, held on April 4 of last year, was also a success (the third annual Exchanging Notes is expected to take place this April).
Every month, the co-op group invites a published writer as a guest. Several Governor General award-winning writers have made appearances, including David Gilmour, Barbara Gowdy, George Eliot Clarke and Austin Clarke. Future guests include Chris Finn, Amy Cameron and Timothy Quinn.
Every second Sunday of the month, the group performs spoken word with musical accompaniment at the James Joyce pub on Bloor Street in Toronto. The goal of the open mike is to stage a spoken word-music event in the summer of 2010 in a larger outdoor venue. At every meeting, the group critiques the work of several fellow authors.
The U of T Writers Co-operative meets every Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Hart House and can be reached at uoftwritersco-op