Montreal·Creator Network

Roen Higgins on how to write a poem

Montreal poet presents a guide to anyone who has ever wanted to write poetry.

Poet and spoken-word artist invites you to 'break away from all the things you think poetry is'

How to Write a Poem with Roen Higgins

2 months ago
Duration 4:20
Montreal poet Roen Higgins shares the fundamentals on writing a poem.

This video was produced by Bethyna Saint Laurent and Winno Daniel as part of the CBC Creator Network. Learn more about the Creator Network here.

"We are all created to create," says Montreal poet and spoken-word artist Roen Higgins.

In the Creator Network piece How to Write a poem, Higgins offers practical and inspirational advice for anyone who ever wanted to pick up a pen and get the words flowing.

Higgins — a special-education technician at English Montreal School Board for more than two decades, as well as a life coach and a community events co-ordinator — is no stranger to the city's poetry scene.

Performing under the name BlueRiva, she is part of the KalmUnity Vibe Collective and L'Art Selah collective.

Higgins has voiced her poetry at funerals, weddings and an event with former Governor General Michaëlle Jean, and she has participated on panels to talk about creating and storytelling as ways to provide comfort.

One of her earliest spoken word poems was about watching her mother and others in her life deal with mental illness. It was then she realized there was a way to combine her art and her work, creativity and well-being.

Higgins says when it comes to poetry, "If you believe in the words that you may be writing, sharing or just creating on the spot, it can impact so many lives."

The Creator Network, which works with emerging visual storytellers to bring their stories to CBC platforms, produced the piece. If you have an idea for the Creator Network, you can send your pitch here.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

A woman stands in front of a flower bed.
Higgins believes that 'poetry is life and lift is poetry.' (CBC Creator Network)


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