Community

Anyone can become a PhoneMe poet! We work with people of all ages, backgrounds, and languages. All that is required is a desire to be creative and a willingness to try your hand at playing with words, imagery, your senses, questions, memories, dreams, and so forth! Our aim is to collectively create a space where art and experimentation reigns; as such, we wish to extend a warm welcome to everyone to participate in this poetry project where we will produce writing for and by the community. In the process, we hope that everyone will walk away with a better sense of their poetic identities and feel proud of their expressive undertakings. Please join us!


These are some of the profiles of PhoneMe poets:

Gilles Cyrenne

Gilles Cyrenne

Gilles Cyrenne writes with the PhoneMe project, Fire Writers and Thursday’s Writing Collective; all gatherings of Downtown Eastside geniuses. He has published a chapbook of poems entitled Emerge.

Graham Cunningham

Graham Cunningham

Graham is a man of science, who wants to leave a mark on Vancouver. He first saw the Second Narrows Bridge, when he was a sailor and it was lying like teeth of a giant saw supported in sections with the opposite ends in water.

Maria Flores

Maria Flores

Maria started writing poetry for the PhoneMe project. She says, “Poetry inspires me to share my thoughts, both real and imagined. Poetry opens the heart and the mind.”

Andy Ho

Joined at UBC Learning Exchange

Mila Klimova

Mila has been a participant of several writing projects in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. She had readings at SFU, at Heart of the City Festival, and other public spaces in the city. She has been living in British Columbia for over 10 years. She is passionate about social justice, writing and dancing.

Lance Lim

Joined at UBC Learning Exchange

Anita Lo

Anita Lo

Anita loves poetry. She is a member of PhoneMe and other writing projects in the Downtown Eastside. She also publishes her poems in Mandarin in a local community newspaper. She says, “Poetry sings like a flower or a floating cloud. Poetry is my life.”

Feeling creative? Here are a few community-themed poetry prompts to get you started!

  • Make a list of ten images you have seen in your community in the last 24 hours. Use all of them in a poem.
  • Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you. If the sounds are peaceful, write a poem with a violent word as the title. If the sounds are loud, write a poem with a peaceful word as the title.
  • Write a poem that has the word “home” hidden in it somewhere. You cannot use the word “home” by itself — it must be hidden.
  • Write a poem from the perspective of your favourite building in your community.
  • Write a poem describing the streets in your community as if they were people.
  • Write about the most precious item in your home.