Over the past couple of years, CV2 has hosted a series of writing workshops for BIPOC writers in Winnipeg. Below you can read more about these workshops and their facilitators. Stay tuned for the next season of workshops!

Poetry & Creative Writing Workshops for BIPOC Writers

Seeking to celebrate and promote local Winnipeg writers of colour, CV2 proudly presented eight poetry workshops for BIPOC writers from 2019 to 2020. These workshops were presented as part of the CV2 Emergence Project and were supported by the Institute for Women’s & Gender Studies and Queer & Trans People of Colour (QTPOC) Winnipeg.

January 26, 2019 — poetry workshop facilitated by Sharanpal Ruprai.
February 9, 2019 — poetry workshop facilitated by Tasha Spillett.
March 9, 2019 — poetry workshop facilitated by Chimwemwe Undi.
March 23, 2019 — submissions information with Sharanpal Ruprai.
May 18, 2019 — poetry workshop facilitated by Doyali Islam.
May 25, 2019 — creative writing workshop facilitated by Amy Fung. A workshop on writing through and alongside the things that move us (forward) and hold us (back).
November 9, 2019 — poetry workshop facilitated by Sheniz Janmohamed (“Questions for Ancestors”). Is this story yours or is this the story you’ve been told? In this workshop, participants will be gently guided to reflect upon their ancestries — whether through bloodlines, traditions, or creative lineages. How do we preserve the narratives that move us forward, and how do we let go of patterns that constrict us from speaking our own truths? These questions will be explored through prompts and reflections inspired by BIPOC authors and thinkers.
February 15 & 22, 2020 — two-part poetry workshop facilitated by Joshua Whitehead (“Writing With the Body”). In this workshop, we will survey our bodies in hopes of finding stories that may be written on the skin or in the blood. The best stories are written sensually, by which I mean written with all of our senses intact. We will think about the ways in which our bodies have been disowned, disempowered, or dislocated every time the world asks us to disregard our bodies (i.e. through race, queerness, disability, trauma, gender, sex, sexuality, age, etc). We will instead celebrate them as kin, and think about the narratives singing from within the folds, scars, bends, and sagging of our bodies. 

Workshop Facilitators

Dr. Sharanpal Ruprai
Dr. Sharanpal Ruprai is a writer and Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg. Ruprai’s debut poetry collection, Seva, was shortlisted for the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry by the Alberta Literary Awards in 2015. As an interdisciplinary humanities scholar, her research and teaching interests include: Indigenous and critical race feminism, religious and cultural studies and artistic practice. Currently, Ruprai is working on a collection of essays entitled Who Are You Calling a Kaur/Princess? By juxtaposing novels, plays, poetry collections, and films, the book explores issues such as religion, gender violence, and identity, within the specific context of the Canadian South Asian women’s experience.

Tasha Spillett
Tasha Spillett draws her strength from both her Nehiyaw and Trinidadian bloodlines. She is a celebrated educator, poet, and emerging scholar. Tasha is most heart-tied to contributing to community-led work that centres on land and water defence, and the protection of Indigenous women and girls. Tasha is currently working on her PhD in Education through the University of Saskatchewan, where she holds a Vanier Canada Award. Tasha Spillett’s graphic novel, Surviving the City, is one book in the Debwe Series and tells a story of kinship, resilience, cultural resurgence, and the anguish of a missing loved one.

Chimwemwe Undi
Chimwemwe Undi is a performance and page poet living and writing as a guest on Treaty 1 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her work has appeared on stages at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and in the pages of Room MagazineArc Poetry Magazine, and CV2, among others. She holds an MA in linguistics from York University. Her debut chapbook, The Habitual Be, was published by University of Nebraska Press in 2017.

Doyali Islam
Doyali Islam’s second poetry book is heft (McClelland & Stewart, 2019). Poems from this collection have been published in Kenyon Review Online and Best Canadian Poetry, and have won CV2’s Young Buck Poetry Prize and 35th Anniversary Contest. In 2017, Doyali was a guest on CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition. More recently, she and Forrest Gander were in conversation through The Adroit Journal. Doyali serves as the poetry editor of Arc Poetry Magazine and lives in Toronto.

Amy Fung
Amy Fung is a writer and curator born in Kowloon, Hong Kong, who spent her formative ears in and around Edmonton on Treaty 6 Territory. Her multifarious curatorial projects have spanned exhibitions, cinematic and live presentations, as well as discursive events across Canada and abroad. Before I Was a Critic I Was a Human Being is her first book.

Sheniz Janmohamed
Sheniz Janmohamed is an author, artist educator, spoken word artist and occasional land artist. She has performed at venues around the world including the Jaipur Literature Festival and the Aga Khan Museum. She has authored two collections of poetry: Bleeding Light (Mawenzi House, 2010) and Firesmoke (Mawenzi House, 2014), and is currently working on her third collection of nature-inspired ghazals. Sheniz is also the founder of Questions for Ancestors, a blog that features BIPOC writers and artists across Turtle Island.

Joshua Whitehead
Joshua Whitehead is an Oji-Cree/Nehiyaw, Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer member of Peguis First Nation, Treaty 1. He is the author of the novel Jonny Appleseed (Arsenal Pulp Press), which was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and shortlisted for a Governor General’s Literary Award in Fiction, and the poetry collection full-metal indigiqueer (Talonbooks), which was shortlisted for the inaugural Indigenous Voices Award for Most Significant Work of Poetry in English and the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry. Currently, he is working on a PhD in Indigenous Literatures and Cultures at the University of Calgary’s English Department, Treaty 7.