LivingArts: The creative process is a strange and mystifying thing

We continue our series of LivingArts Hamilton blogs featuring guest writers from a variety of arts disciplines across the community. This week, we're pleased to welcome Hamilton-based poet, author, and Vice President of Tower Poetry Society, Jennifer Dunlop. FB: towerpoetrysocietyhamilton



For voices pursue him by day,
And haunt him by night,
And he listens, and needs must obey,
When the Angel says: Write! 1

The creative process is a strange and mystifying thing.   Assemble a group of artists and they could all differ. For years I believed poetry sprang only from random inspiration.  Then I participated in Tower’s Art Walk. Poets attend Carnegie Gallery to view artwork and then write a poem. I attended the gallery in a skeptical frame of mind, but after contemplating a piece that struck me, I had an idea. That day I learned you can open yourself up to creativity.

Often I receive inspiration while running through the forest, driving and before sleep. These are relaxed states of mind that allow ideas to emerge. I have written poetry since I was a little girl.  I have always been a word person. I’m a voracious reader and I love languages. I enjoy unusual words and word play. I feel things deeply and I’m extremely curious.

Poetry has allowed me to express all of these aspects of my life.  Poetry is something I must do. Through poetry I attempt to convey an emotion or a picture in a thought- provoking, unusual way.  Some poems take years to write; some only days. Some are much more amenable to editing than others.

Do you feel the urge to inhabit the creative process?  Write a poem! And join Tower’s public workshops for nonjudgmental feedback to assist you on your journey. Tower is the oldest poetry group in Canada, founded in 1951 2.  Our books include contributors world-wide.  We live in the creative process and we welcome you.


Please go to or towerpoetrysocietyhamilton on Facebook for more information on readings, workshops, submissions and publications.

1 Longfellow’s Poetical Works, 1893, Frowde