Queer poet, writer, and creative writing professor Triny Finlay is offering a workshop geared towards those dealing with mental health issues, this upcoming March 6, 2022. Presented by the Frye Festival, in partnership with the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick (WFNB) and the Multicultural Association of the Greater Moncton Area (MAGMA), this workshop will be a great opportunity to work closely with an acclaimed local author whose work explores her experiences with mental illness, treatment, and stigma.
Triny Finlay’s latest poetry book, Myself A Paperclip (Goose Lane, 2021), peers into the mind and senses of a patient, and the world of a psychiatric ward. The book confronts abuse and experiences with debilitating mental illnesses, therapies, and hospitalizations, in the form of one long poem.
“According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 50% of the Canadian population will have experienced mental illness by the age of 40. I’m part of that 50%, and I have found that creative writing has been an instrumental way to express and process my experiences with mental health issues”, Triny Finlay explains. “Writing about these experiences can be therapeutic, and can also contribute to a person’s improved sense of agency, self-esteem, and healing. Sometimes it takes space and time to do this processing, and that’s okay too.”
Titled “Mental Health Matters: Healing Through Poetry”, the workshop will be presented in person at Moncton’s Community Peace Centre, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Using writing prompts and conversation, Triny Finlay will invite amateur and professional writers who might be struggling to put their ideas and turmoils into writing. “In this workshop, we will use creative writing prompts and exercises, conversation, and the workshop format to create and edit poems about our experiences with mental illness, all within an environment that is caring, supportive, and empathetic,” Triny Finlay describes.
“We’ve been talking a lot about mental health over the past few years, in many parts due to the pandemic, and the arts can be a great tool for people who deal with these issues” comments Frye Festival Interim Executive Director Pierre-André Doucet. “It’s important for us to be able to provide safe spaces for artists who struggle, to encourage them to keep creating, and to break the cycle of isolation.”
Twelve spots are offered for this workshop, and registration can be done online at www.frye.ca, via email at email@example.com, or over the phone: (506) 859-4389. Masks will be worn throughout the event, and proof of vaccination will be required.
Léonore Bailhache is Communications, Marketing, and Audience Development Manager with festival FRYE festival.