The Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia is pleased to offer a session of First Words: Poetry for the winter 2020 season. This section of the nine-week poetry writing course will be led by Shauntay Grant, Alison Smith, and Sue Goyette. This session will be offered on Wednesday evenings (7-9 pm) beginning February 12.  

As a welcoming space for beginner or emerging writers, First Words: Poetry provides an overview of the craft from several professional perspectives. No prerequisites or pre-existing pieces of writing are necessary for participation in this course.

Shauntay Grant – February 12, 19, and 26

Alison Smith – March 4, 11, and 18

Sue Goyette – March 25, April 1 and April 8


SORRY! Registration for this call is full. Please call 902-423-8116 if you wish to hear about a new session of First Words: Poetry. 

ADDITIONAL Please note, the last four classes of this workshop have been postponed due to COVID-19. Stay tuned for new dates once Nova Scotia's State of Emergency has been lifted. 


A former poet laureate for the City of Halifax (2009–11), Shauntay Grant is the author of several poetic picture books for children including Up Home, winner of a Best Atlantic Published Book prize from the Atlantic Book Awards, and Africville, a nominee the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Awards. Her poetry has been published in anthologies and literary journals including the Fieldstone Review and Contemporary Verse 2: The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing. Shauntay has shared her work internationally at literary festivals and events in Canada, the United States, England, the Caribbean, and Australia. She has been receipient of the Canada Council for the Arts' Joseph S. Stauffer Prize in Writing and Publishing, and Spoken Word Canada's Poet of Honour Prize. Shauntay holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She teaches creative writing at Dalhousie University. Visit her online at

Poet Alison Smith is the author of three full-length collections, the most recent of which, This Kind of Thinking Does No Good (Gaspereau, 2018), won the 2019 J.M. Abraham Poetry Award (Atlantic Book Awards. Smith's poems have appeared in journals including Guernica Magazine, Fjords Review, Event Magazine, The Rusty Toque, and Lemonhound. She lives and writes on Nova Scotia's South Shore.  

Sue Goyette lives in K'jipuktuk (Halifax), the unceded and unsurrendered land of the Mi’kmaq peoples. She has published six books of poems and a novel. Her latest collection is Penelope (Gaspereau Press, 2017). Sue teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Dalhousie University. 

Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia, 1113 Marginal Road, Halifax
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 7:00pm to Wednesday, April 8, 2020 - 9:00pm