Teaching & Mentoring

Graham is much sought after as a teacher of poetry, creative writing and communications. She has taught at every level of instruction, from children in elementary school to university students. She has served as a writer-in-residence at St. John’s-Kilmarnock School in Breslau, and in Toronto with Descant‘s now hear this! SWAT: Student Writers and Teachers, Diaspora Dialogues and Sister Writes. Winner of an Excellence in Teaching Award at the University of Toronto, she teaches Creative Writing Through Reading, Creative Writing: Introduction, Poetry: Introduction, Poetry II, Poetry III, The Nature of Poetic Process and Poetry Master Class. To register, contact learn@utoronto.ca. During the summer she teaches at the Haliburton School of Art and Design: Fleming College. Graham has led poetry workshops for St. Mungo’s Mirrorball, Glasgow, Scotland, University of Saskatchewan, the Baxter Arts CentreCentre for Creative Learning and Knife / Fork / Book, Toronto.

Catherine Graham credits the guidance of her own writing teachers with helping to shape her work and encourage her creative spirit. Among her influences is Canadian novelist Barbara Gowdy, whose writing philosophies influenced Graham, and which she wrote about in the literary magazine Descant‘s tribute to Gowdy.

Graham is available to make single visits to elementary and high schools or to provide a series of workshops. Graham also mentors new and emerging poets on an individual and group basis, working directly with the students’ own text. For more on Graham’s approach to poetry coaching, read her interview in Poet’s Market 2007 (Writer’s Digest Books, 2007). For more on her approach to teaching, read her article in youngpoets.ca. Graham served as the inaugural judge and mentor for the Aspiring Canadian Poets Contest.

“Working with Catherine Graham is an absolute joy. She displays a great deal of sensitivity and care when reading my work, and I appreciate the ways she challenges me to move forward. As a poet and as a mentor, her attention to detail is thorough, and her intuition inspiring.”
— Amy Dennis, graduate of UBC’s MFA program in creative writing