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Voices

Voices is an ongoing series where we ask arts workers in Winnipeg to reflect on the impact of the arts in their lives. 

In 2024 Voices features essays commissioned by guest editors. This series is edited by Jennifer Still, an award-winning Winnipeg poet exploring intersections of language and aesthetics. Jennifer’s poems have been published in books and journals across Canada and her recent long poem, legs, is a limited-edition chapbook and award-winning short film collaboration with Winnipeg artists Christine Fellows and Chantel Mierau.

Jennifer has mentored writers and facilitated workshops through The University of Winnipeg Carol Shields’ Writer-in-Residence Program, The Banff Centre of the Arts Wired Writing Studio, the Manitoba Writers Guild, and as a poetry editor for the literary journal CV2. Jennifer was the 2017 Writer in Residence at the Winnipeg Public Library and the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture, University of Manitoba.

  • Dear Manners,

    I am writing you today, live from Montréal, on a break from “school” (a film producer incubator). And by “break” I mean, skipping school to watch a movie this afternoon. I have been skipping school a lot more than I would like to admit this week (more on that later… )

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  • Winnipeg’s Challenge To Me

    At the end of June, 2021, I retired from my position as Editor of Contemporary Verse 2: The Canadian Journal of Poetry, after twenty years. I had actually been involved with CV2 since 1993, and so it had been part of my life for almost thirty years. I can honestly quote Dickens here and say, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

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  • Transformations

    I first saw Winnipeg as a soft light reflected on low clouds from our farm near Selkirk. I had closer glimpses when I was seven and our family began travelling through at holidays taking my older sister back and forth to her school in Portage la Prairie

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  • Osani stands against a colourful drawing on a wall, wearing a light grey sweater with a white and navy line across the chest and black pants. He has dark hair and full facial hair and stands with his hands in his pants pockets.

    Rap Talk

    Rap talk

    Rap helped me through every phase of my life thus far. I wrote these short paragraphs to highlight the journey.

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  • Hannah smiles at the camera with a blue sky and clouds in the background behind her. She has chin-length brown hair with bangs and is wearing dark glasses, a straw hat, and a cream-coloured knit cable sweater.

    The Lights of my City

    I carry an image in my memory of a place that is real but does not exist. This cave is, of course, within me. When I speak or write about it my hands go to my chest and stomach, so I think that’s where it lives.

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  • Primrose stares at the camera with a slight closed-mouth smile on her face. She has long black hair with blonde highlights and is wearing square-framed glasses, a necklace, and a grey shirt. Behind her, there is a river or stream, tall grass, and trees.

    Pause...

    I have written more in the past two years than in the last fifteen.

    I am both reluctant and full of pride to say these words aloud, one of the sound bites I’ve been touting during media interviews. I hold my head held high, but inside I am wrought with survivor’s guilt. Then I admonish myself for being ashamed of feeling pride.

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