Susie Whelehan offered a session on May 5.

“Whether your purpose for writing is artistic expression, communication with friends and family, the healing of the inner life, or achieving public recognition for your art – the foundation is the same: the claiming of yourself as an artist/writer and the strengthening of your writing voice through practice, study, and helpful response from other writers.” — Pat Schneider

Susie Whelehan published her first poetry collection, The Sky Laughs at Borders (Piquant Press) in 2019. She has been an AWA facilitator for 9 years running Oasis retreats in her home, her community recreation centre and now on-line.

“I have to say it is one of the great pleasures of my life. If you are looking for a creative outlet, an invitation to connect with other writers, an exploration of your own mind and where it goes when you just let it go, come on along.”


by Loren MccRory

While we were busy growing up

The world was busy growing in

To this place we now call home.

When we were busy growing up

The world was on a collision

Course, of course, not an actual

Bump in the night sky with

Another planet or piece of one

Thank heavens, but still

Here we are

Circling that raging star

Cooling our heels

Racing toward oblivion

While we were busy growing up

The world took a turn

For the worst and though

Some tried and some cried

This blue and green oasis

In the middle of nowhere

May soon be no more

While we are busy growing up


by Helen Hill

One of the narrators from the previous writing sessions used or kept the word “missing” and I
thought of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and girls. Tashie, the granddaughter
of one of my close friends went missing in early spring. Tashie was pregnant with her first and,
as it turned out, only baby. She loved the father who ended up killing her and burying her, with
the help of his father, because they thought she would only hold him back – be a burden for
him in his sports career. The man got three years for the death of Tashie and their son. When
Tashie was fourteen she invited me to her birthday dinner and asked to call me grandma and of
course I said yes. Norma got involved with the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and
Girls and started to get sick from the emotional and mental pain. I chose not to be part of it
because of my chronic ill health but we kept in close contact throughout. I think, for me, the
hardest part is the racism and injustice. It was and still is in some areas as if these Indigenous
women and girls and then the boys and men and the trans – yes every Indigenous person is
looked at as disposable. Yesterday we buried one of the women from our community who also
lost her daughter and who marched and fought the Canadian Government and police forces to
seek justice for these Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and girls and their families.
Yesterday’s funeral for Aileen was because of Covid-19, a battle she didn’t win.

Thank you for joining us to Write Around the World!

For the rest of the summer, watch our blog! We are sharing writing from AWA’s yearly marathon fundraiser, which happened this year all-online throughout the month of May.

We offer this series in appreciation for the incredible community of writers and workshop leaders that sustain us. If you’re inspired and would like to be part of the fundraiser, please donate!