Poetries of Metafiction: A Workshop with Meredith Quartermain

(May 26, 2013)

Posted in Meredith Quartermain, Past Workshops

Date: Sunday May 26, 2013 from 1 pm to 5 pm
Location: 172 Spadina Ave, Toronto

Capacity: 12 participants

Metafiction may be loosely defined as writing that contains and perhaps addresses the creation of another work of fiction. Examples from recent literature include Gail Scott, Heroine and Obituary; JM Coetzee, Disgrace and Diary of a Bad Year; and Enrique Vila-Matas, Never Any End to Paris and Bartleby and Co. Metafictions enable us to explore the hinge between representation of the real and representation of the fictional. How can we play with this trope to generate poetic resonance? How can we extend it in new and interesting ways?

Workshop participants will explore several metafictional set-ups, invent their own metafictional scenarios, sketch some initial drafts and try them out on each other. They will draw on group interaction to refine and extend their experiments.

Participants in this workshop can expect to accomplish the following:

  • an exploration through group discussion of various metafictional set-ups or ways in which a text could involve metafiction
  • creation of their own metafictional scenarios
  • comparison and elaboration of those scenarios through group discussion
  • drafts of their own texts involving their metafictional scenarios
  • participation in sharing and getting feedback on their own and other’s drafts

Preliminary But Not Required Reading: some or all of the texts mentioned above.
Requirements: pens, paper, dictionary. Or laptop if you have one.


Price: $90.00


Meredith Quartermain on The Art of Writing:

“Discovery is one of the most exciting parts of writing for me – finding out through wondering, research, trial drafts and revision what pattern or form I can unfold. We are always making our lives through language, but language is just sounds to which each individual attaches varying senses. Meaning shifts into freefall as words move through different speakers and contexts. Discovering how to bring into my texts the complex interplay and open-endedness of the freefall is a key part of my writing process.”

Meredith Quartermain was the Vancouver Public Library writer in residence in 2012, and is known across Canada as a writer of urban spaces and an innovator of poetic and narrative form. Vancouver Walking won the BC Book Award for Poetry; Nightmarker was a finalist for the Vancouver Book Award; and Recipes from the Red Planet was a finalist for the BC Book Award for fiction. Her work has appeared in The Walrus, Canadian Literature, Event, Matrix, Prism and other magazines, and was recently included in Best Canadian Poetry. She is currently writing a work of metafiction entitled U-Girl.

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