What do you love about your city?

October 16, 2018
by Lindsay
0 comments

Letters letters letters in The Letter Page, Vol. 3

I am beyond thrilled to have one of my letters to Amelia Earhart in the newest volume of The Letters Page – the most charming, insightful literary journal from Nottingham, edited by the wonderful writer, Jon McGregor that is filled with, you guessed it, LETTERS!

It’s the most beautiful book – an 80 page craft-bound book with fold-out facsimile reproductions of the original handwritten letters (!!!), featuring a screen-printed cover which folds out to form its own mailing package, complete with wax seal. And there’s a gorgeous reproduction of Amelia’s red Vega next to my letter. I actually swooned when I saw it.

And if that wasn’t amazing enough, there are also FOOT NOTES for each letter:

You can get your own copy here!

September 17, 2018
by Lindsay
0 comments

So much love for The Junction

I’ve spent the last week at Annette St. Library asking people to write love letters to one of my very favourite neighbourhoods in the city, The Junction. We had SO MUCH FUN!

(The clear winner has been ice cream in the Junction – SO many ice cream-focused love letters!)

Check out more letters here:


And in case you missed out and want to join me for a *free* 8-week writing workshop at the Annette Street Library where we will find our creative voices, inspired by the Junction, there’s still time to sign up!

Annette St. Library: 145 Annette Street.

Adult workshops (18+):
Thursdays from 6:30-8pm:
Sept. 20, 27 / Oct. 11, 18, 25 / Nov. 8, 15, 22
Nov. 29: Public reading (optional)

Please register for the free workshops in person or by calling Annette Street Library at 416-393-7692.

More info here!

Funded by the Ontario Arts Council’s Community Art program.

 

September 15, 2018
by Lindsay
0 comments

Street party joy

I sometimes joke that I live on Sesame Street. I had no idea when we moved in four years ago how amazing our street was, but it is. It’s magic. In the middle of winter, our furnace broke and within 10 minutes of sending out a “does anyone have a space heater” email, our front hall was FULL. At least 12 neighbours came by with space heaters, not to mention offers of hosting us until the heat got back on.

Neighbours shovel each others’ sidewalks, bring meals to the parents of new babies and elderly couples, collect mail, and roll out garbage bins when people are travelling. Nothing fills me with more joy than rolling up the street with my kids in the wagon on a Friday afternoon and seeing all my neighbours standing on the sidewalk while our kids play made up games that involve a toy penguin, colouring an oak tree with chalk, and hiding sunglasses…

And if that wasn’t wonderful enough, my street also throws a street party every September. The road is closed and a team of volunteers plans the most wonderful afternoon filled with a bouncy castle, a visit from a fire truck (my son’s fav!), a magician, balloon animals, a talent show, a scavenger hunt, a BBQ/potluck (the even and odd sides alternate between bringing salads and dessert!), a little bit of love lettering and a late-night movie. It is easily the best day of the year.



August 30, 2018
by Lindsay
0 comments

Love lettering in Brazil (!!)

The Love Lettering Project went to…BRAZIL in July! How amazing is that?  The city of Teresopolis is 60km outside of Rio, and according to my friend Poliana Gomes, it has been struggling since fatal floods and landslides in 2011, an uptick in violent crime and a corrupt mayor who was recently ousted.

After a recent municipal election, a number of schools started working together to engage youth, in an attempt to develop ownership of their city.  So, for the city’s 127 birthday, Polonia and her team at the Cultura Inglesa asked their students to write love letters to Teresopolis.

(Aren’t those envelopes amazing??)

The project took off and was so popular a bunch of schools took part. A church got on board and local art teachers are asking their students to continue writing letters and spreading the civic love. SO MUCH LOVE! It’s just so amazing.

I can’t read Portuguese, but how awesome are these articles in local newspapers and a larger publication called VEJA RIO—a magazine covering the whole state of Rio de Janeiro (!!) (You can read that one here!)

 

My heart is so full!

 

August 24, 2018
by Lindsay
0 comments

Writing the City: Writing workshops at Annette St. Library

Do you love the Junction? Do you love to write?

Join me for a *free* 8-week writing workshop at the Annette Street Library where we will find our creative voices, inspired by the Junction.

Annette St. Library: 145 Annette Street.

Adult workshops (18+):
Thursdays from 6:30-8pm:
Sept. 20, 27 / Oct. 11, 18, 25 / Nov. 8, 15, 22
Nov. 29: Public reading (optional)

Please register for the free workshops in person or by calling Annette Street Library at 416-393-7692.

More on the workshops:

Writing the City is a writing-based community engagement project based on The Love Lettering Project, the internationally acclaimed writing project founded in 2004 by Lindsay Zier-Vogel.

After a successful 2017 season at Parkdale Library, Writing the City will take place at the Toronto Public Library’s Annette Street branch, and be comprised of a registration-required eight-week writing workshop for adults. In the workshops, participants will generate poetry and short fiction inspired by and/or situated in The Junction and to conclude, we will be hosting and optional public reading for the community.

Participants will uncover their own voices and Lindsay will work with the writers in providing community-focused inspiration and editing skills, transforming their work over the course of the 8-week workshop.

Lindsay is an active member of the community-based arts community and since 2004, she has been asking people to write love poems to their communities, slip them into airmail envelopes marked “love.” and distribute them anonymously throughout their communities. Through her Love Lettering Project, thousands of people have participated in over 50 events in Toronto and in two Canada Council-funded tours to the UK and Canada’s North. The project has the capacity to transform an individual’s relationship to public space and their communities through social and artistic engagement. Since its inception, Lindsay has developed a co-creative writing workshop program based on these principles, uniting creative writing and community engagement in workshops for children, youth and adults (through the TDSB, Pathways to Education, Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada’s DreamCatcher Mentoring, Sister Writes, among others).

Lindsay received an M.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Toronto under the advisorship of award winning novelist, Anne Michaels and has been published in many publications including The Toronto Star, The Lampeter Review, Taddle Creek, room of one’s own, Where The Nights Are Twice As Long: Love Letters of Canadian Poets, published by Goose Lane Editions and Watermarks: Writing by Lido Lovers and Wild Swimmers. More about Lindsay here.

Funded by the Ontario Arts Council’s Community Art program.

August 24, 2018
by Lindsay
0 comments

Sunday, Sept. 23: Word on the Street 2018

BOOKS + LOVE LETTERS?! Be still my beating heart! I’m so excited to be love lettering at The Word on The Street Festival this year! Bijillions of books and authors and workshops and readings. It’s going to be the best.

Come! Sunday, September 23, 2018 Harbourfront Centre. The whole festival runs from 10am-5pm

I’ll be at the Word on the Street 2018: Learning Station (on the west side, near Queens Quay) from 3:15-4pm

Here’s a map!

August 24, 2018
by Lindsay
0 comments

Sept. 11 & 15: What do you love about The Junction?

What do you love about The Junction?? Come on by the Annette Street Library on Tuesday Sept. 11 and/or Saturday, Sept. 15th and write love letters to one of my very favourite neighbourhoods in Toronto

Annette St. Library: 145 Annette Street

Drop-in (it’s free, and for all ages, no registration required!!)
Tuesday, September 11: 4-5:30pm
Saturday, September 15: 3-4:30pm

And if you’re interested in an 8-week city-based creative writing workshop for adults 18+, (free, and led by me, more info here!) you can call the library and register: 416-393-7692.

Adult writing workshops (18+):
Thursdays from 6:30-8pm:
Sept. 20, 27 / Oct. 11, 18, 25 / Nov. 8, 15, 22
Nov. 29: Public reading (optional)

Funded by the Ontario Arts Council’s Community Art program.

 

August 20, 2018
by Lindsay
0 comments

Dear DC…

I love Amelia Earhart. And so does my character, Grace, who writes letters, often love letters to Amelia. It’s convenient when your character likes the same things you like, and so you can do bizarre things like book a day trip from Toronto to Washington, DC to see the airplane she flew from Harbour Grace, Nfld across the Atlantic to Ireland. And that is just what I did last week. The timeline was, er, tight to say the least, but it was an incredible trip.

I spent a bunch of time in DC a whole bunch of years ago. I was in a not-great-relationship with a fellow who lived there, but oh, THE CITY! Kramer’s, the most wonderful bookstore ever, the popcorn stands (like Toronto hotdog stands BUT POPCORN!), the carousel on The Mall, the Shake Shack burgers, Amelia’s Vega, and the FREE MUSEUMS. So many museums, holy smokes.

And so, even though I spent 12h travelling (taxis, ferries, buses, trains, subways, planes…) and only had 4.5 hours in the city to do Amelia plane research, I ALSO couldn’t help myself but bring write some love letters along the way…

The highlight of my trip (other than Amelia’s stunning red Vega) was seeing Barack Obama’s portrait at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. In a sea of white and grey, I wept in front of his bright, brilliant portrait. His benevolence, his kindness were so present. I’ve never cried like that in front of a painting—it was so moving. (Note: The Michelle Obama portrait is beautiful too!) So OF COURSE the National Portrait Museum got a love letter!

And right outside the National Portrait Museum was a farmer’s market! I ate the best peach I’ve ever had! I had to restrain myself from buying jars of pickles and flats of tomatoes. There was even a gin tasting!

And a quick note to anyone thinking about opening a sculpture museum, I’d highly recommend adding a beautiful coffee shop and selling INCREDIBLE gelato out of a shipping container. My trip to the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden was so inspiring, and coffee-and-gelato-fueled. Dolcezza, you have my heart.

(I was so distracted by the art, I forgot to take a picture of the love letter I left, but this shot of my peach-prosecco, oxblood plum and lemon basil ice cream will have to suffice!)

Till next time, DC!

August 14, 2018
by Lindsay
0 comments

Dear summer…

I love summer. I LOOOOOOVE SUMMER. The heat, the swimming, the long days, the sunshine, ALL OF IT. And I’ve been writing swim-y, summer-y love letters all summer long on my swimming blog, Swimming Holes We Have Known.

One to my first ever (!) swim off Hanlan’s Point (aka THE GREATEST SWIM I’VE EVER HAD IN TORONTO)

Another to swimming with loons and inventing a perfect summer cocktail, The Summerary.

Another to a roadtrip to the Elora Quarry for a sunshining afternoon dip.