A visit from Valerie Senyk

March 25, 2010.

Throughout the year, the Sudbury Writers’ Guild brings in guest speakers.  That year, there had been some interest from the membership in learning how to read one’s work more effectively.  One of our members, and past president, Janice Leuschen, had just started up her business and had delivered a session for the Guild already, but there were still rumblings and mumblings.

At the September meeting, where the year’s creative agenda was hashed out, I suggested Valerie Senyk as a possible speaker.  She is associate professor of theatre arts at the Georgian College University Partnership Centre as well as a poet, a playwright, a director, and a fantastic performer.

The members in attendance showed interest, so I got in touch with Valerie, who was also interested and coming to Sudbury to see her son in March.  We firmed things up and made the date.

I’d known Valerie since Spring Fever: the (W)rites of Spring in which our poetry was published.  Subsequent readings, events like the Northern Lights Festival Boreal, which featured not only our motley crew of spoken word performers, but her creative performance poetry collaborations LipSkinDance and Poemotion, and our association through Your Scrivener Press publisher Laurence Steven, often put us together.

At the time of our first association, Valerie was a professor in the Drama Department at Thornloe University, one of three federated universities within Laurentian University.  I’d seen her perform and attended several of her students’ productions at Thornloe.

Valerie did an evening workshop for the Guild and everyone in attendance read a work of short fiction or poetry and received excellent feedback and tips from Valerie.  Though I considered myself an experienced reader, she had some insightful advice for me as well.  It was a lovely evening, and it was great to see an old friend again.

It is always a pleasure to work with Valerie.

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