Sound & Silence in Poetry (virtual) with Nanci Lee

Poetry is an oral form—and this workshop will play with both sound and silence in poetry, using ancestors and song lines as a springboard. Nanci’s poetry works with space and fragments, not as a break from words, but where space brings its own atmosphere and plays with the unknown and unconscious. We’ll engage in an exercise related to I Ching and yarrow sticks as well as spoken word poetry and a few old recordings. We’ll also play with the roots of words, concrete forms, oral exercises, and creative uses of space for movement and resonance. Participants will workshop their own poems-in-progress, including the practice of recording and listening.

Participants are asked to bring a poem or poems (including slam poetry and spoken word) that make interesting use of both sound and silence. These will be shared aloud and discussed.

About the instructor: Nanci Lee is a Syrian-Chinese poet and facilitator who believes in the power of poetry and art to, among other things, help us to re-body, re-imagine. Nanci’s first trademark poetry book, Hsin (Brick Books, 2022), won the J. M. Abraham Atlantic Poetry Award. Her work explores silence, adoption, ancestors, desire, and Su Hui, 4th Century Chinese palindromist. Nanci lives in Kjiputkuk (Halifax) on the unceded ancestral homeland of the Mi’kmaq.

Recommended experience level: New, emerging, and established poets (About recommended experience levels)

Participant cap: 12

Location: Zoom

Dates of 3-week workshop: Tuesdays, Feb 20 + Feb 27 + Mar 5, 2024 (7:00pm to 9:00pm Atlantic)

Registration for 2024 General Members: $129

Registration for non-members: $194 (includes 2024 General Membership in WFNS)

Registration for this workshop is closed.

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Recommended Experience Levels

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) recommends that each workshop’s participants share a level or range of writing / publication experience. This is to ensure that each participant gets value from the workshop⁠ and is presented with information, strategies, and skills that suit their current writing priorities.

To this end, the “Recommended experience level” section of each workshop description refers to the following definitions developed by WFNS:

  • New writers: those with no professional publications (yet!) or a few short professional publications (i.e., poems, stories, or essays in literary magazines, journals, anthologies, or chapbooks).
  • Emerging writers: those with numerous professional publications and/or one book-length publication.
  • Established writers/authors: those with two book-length publications or the equivalent in book-length and short publications.
  • Professional authors: those with more than two book-length publications.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” creative writing workshops, which provide more opportunities for participant-to-participant feedback, the recommended experience level should be followed.

For all other workshops, the recommended experience level is just that—a recommendation—and we encourage potential participants to follow their own judgment when registering.

If you’re uncertain of your experience level with regard to any particular workshop, please feel free to contact us at