Driven by the love of words
Unassuming, self-deprecating, Ann Lloyd is nonetheless the force at the heart of the Westmount Poetry Group. The facial lines she laughingly flaunts are as many chapters in the life of this Welsh-born woman who set her roots in Westmount decades ago.
This award-winning advertising copywriter is a well-established writer who has had a brilliant career as a free-lancer. The Phd graduate is also an author having published titles such as Lurching into the loony bin.
« I’ve always loved poetry and written some all my life, » declares Ann Lloyd. Nearly a decade ago, she was invited to give a lecture on poetry at the Westmount Public Library. Given the success of the event, she was invited again the following year. This time, it was members of the public who put together a petition that they submitted to the Library asking for the popular lecturer to offer poetry workshops.
Now in its seventh year, the WPG continues to grow. « We’re a close-knit community now. We really love getting together and crafting our poems. To such a point that participants even asked me to give them homework for the Summer! » explains Ms. Lloyd. « We challenge ourselves. For example, we have an on the spot exercise where each person gives a word and we use them to create a poem. » The group’s impact goes beyond poetry. It certainly did in the case of a woman from Colombia who came to the group to practice her English, and then stayed for years.
Guided by Ms. Lloyd, the group does not simply write free form but ventures on some quite challenging terrain where alliteration (the repetition of the initial stressed consonants sounds in a series of words within a phrase) seems easy compared to Vilanelle (a French verse form consisting of five three-line stanzas and a final quatrain, with the first and third lines of the first stanza repeating alternately in the following stanzas) or the paradelle, rondeau, limericks etc.
Each year, the WPG celebrates its work by hosting an event at the end of April, which has been proclaimed National Poetry Month in Canada since 1999. Poetry and Pastry takes place in the stunning Westmount Public Library. The Group selects their best works to be interpreted before the audience. Other pieces are displayed to be read. All of it, driven by the love of words.
WESTMOUNT POETRY GROUP
WORKSHOPS WITH ANN LLOYD
EVERY WEDNESDAY FROM 10:15 to 11:15
The Westmount Poetry Group meets to compose poetry together. Members propose themes at the beginning of each session and every two weeks after that. During the year, depending on what poetic forms we are working on, we choose the theme that most suits us. Everyone is welcome!
WESTMOUNT PUBLIC LIBRARY’S BOARDROOM
TO LEARN MORE OR JOIN THE GROUP, CALL 514 989-5299.
HAPPENSTANCE AND ACCIDENTS
A POEM BY ANN LLOYD
ACCIDENTS, AND HAPPENSTANCE
AND EVEN COME BY CHANCE
That’s how your life has been said me to me.
At a glance my young self said I can see that
Nothing’s changed with us
From the first we were never meant to be.
But then dispite the gin, we came didn’t we!
And our only consistency that I can ses,
Was writing everything else
Was happenstance and maladies.
A malady brought us to Canada which seems to have set you free
To be whoever you decided you wanted to be.
And all the rest fell into place very tidily.
What more can I say said me to me.