Member Profile

Kathryn MacDonald

Photo: James Archbold 2016

Kathryn MacDonald has published three books: A Breeze You Whisper (poems, Brighton: Hidden Brook Press [HBP], 2011); Calla & Édourd (fiction, HBP, 2009); and Farm & City Cookbook (essays and recipes, co-authored with Mary Lou Morgan, Toronto: Second Story Press, 1994).

During the 1980s and early 1990s, she was on the editorial staff of Harrowsmith and Equinox magazines, managing editor of a small book publishing company, and editor of Key to Kingston magazine. In the 1990s, Kathryn added ghost writing to her repertoire in the form of proposals and reports, newsletters and speeches. Between 1998 and 2014, she taught online courses in literature and writing through Loyalist College, Belleville. During that period she also facilitated short discussions and participatory workshops ranging from creative nonfiction to fiction, memoir, and travel writing.

Between 2010 and 2016, Kathryn travelled extensively in East and North Africa, plus Andalusia, Spain, and Mexico. In 2013, she began sailing the Caribbean Sea, with extended stays in Cuba. These travels led to her newest poetry manuscript, tentatively titled “The Colour of Distance: Bluu/Azul/Blue.” Part 1 – ‘Cure for Love: Flight’ – set mainly in Kenya, explores themes of loss and seeking; Part II – ‘In Love with the Wind’ – celebrates Morocco, Andalusia, and especially Cuba while sailing the Caribbean Sea).

Other highlights and interests:

• “Cuba in Photos & Words,” Canada-Cuba Literary Alliance (2015);
• “Expressions,” a juried art event (silversmith piece, 2009) and
• “With a Woman’s Eye: A Photo Retrospective,” a one-woman show (1993).
• Kathryn enjoys travelling, sailing, hiking, photography, and sketching. Born in Southwestern Ontario, Kathryn has lived in Ottawa, Winnipeg, and rural Eastern Ontario. Her home is now in Belleville on the Bay of Quinte. Kathryn holds a B.A. from the University of Windsor and an MPA from Queen’s University, Kingston.

Reading/Presentation/Workshop Descriptions

Kathryn is available across Canada for public readings of her writing, and she is willing to talk about the writing process and work-in-progress. She welcomes opportunities to meet with elementary, secondary, college and university students. And she especially enjoys meeting with writing groups.

Participatory presentations and workshops include topics such as:

Telling Our Stories: In this two-hour presentation, or weekend-long writing workshop, participants are provided a handout or workbook of ideas, strategies, and encouragement that leads to inspiration or, for workshop people, a short creative memoir and a skillset to carry forward. Besides group work and sharing, writers receive individual feedback to guide and direct.

Writing Foreign: in this travel writing workshop – a brief two-hour overview to a weekend of trying your hand, to a 10-day travel experience – participants will explore such topics as:
o Finding Your Voice
o Capturing Place
o Writing People and Culture
o Nitty Gritty (from research to the literary toolbox)
o Movement (from the known world into the unknown and back again)

Relevant here is the work Kathryn did in a Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)-Queen’s University program in development education (1986-1992).

• Kathryn offers schools and groups two-to-four hour participatory workshop/presentations with “Talking Fantasy Literature” topics such as:
o Fantasy in our Lives
o Portals we Cross
o Through the Unknown
o Magic of Change
This could be followed by a Tapping Your Fantasy writing workshop.

Kathryn taught 14-week-long fantasy literature for credit to prospective library technicians and to teachers upgrading, in addition to general-interest students (through Loyalist College and Ontario Learn online, 15 years). She has also taught fantasy writing at the college level.

Magic/Myth/Miracles, a presentation, part of the Later Life Learning series of lectures at St. Thomas Anglican Church Belleville, led to a lively discussion. James Hillman, author of The Soul’s Code, writes: “There is in each of us a longing to see beyond what our usual sight tells us.” Hillman’s ideas, along with those of Joseph Campbell, combine with the hopeful fantasy outlook of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit in this hour-long presentation. (First given in 2009, updated for the particular focus of host groups; presentation and discussion: one to two hours.)

For more information about these and other presentations and workshops, please e-mail whiteoaksstudio@yahoo.com to discuss your needs and Kathryn's skills.

Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada

Publications

A Breeze You Whisper. Hidden Brook Press, 2011
Calla & Édourd. Hidden Brook Press, 2009
Farm & City Cookbook. Second Story Press, 1994
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :
Yes