Highland Creek Valley
  • July 22, 2023 - 2 – 3:30 pm

Observational Poetry Walk led by Sheniz Janmohamed

Nature walk in the Highland Creek Valley, writing with the imagined presence of an ancestor and creating nature altars

Inspired by the Doris McCarthy Gallery exhibition Let me take you there, poet, educator, and nature artist Sheniz Janmohamed will lead an observational poetry walk through the Highland Creek Valley at the U of T Scarborough campus. Participants will be asked to walk with the imagined presence of a biological or cultural ancestor. They will be given gentle prompts to write about their own creation myths, stories, and folk tales. Where does magic unfold in our daily lives? Where do we witness ancestral signs? What can the outside world tell us about ourselves? At the end of the walk, participants will create their own nature altars as offerings to their ancestors.

Spaces limited; registration required. Please note any accommodation needs when registering, and gallery staff will follow up with you as necessary.

The walk will begin from the Doris McCarthy Gallery at U of T Scarborough at 2 pm, where participants can first view Let me take you there, before heading to the U of T Scarborough Valley Trail.

Please bring a notebook and something to write with. Please dress for the weather, wearing good walking shoes as needed, and pants that can be tucked into socks (for avoiding scratches/insect bites if going off path). Sunscreen and bug repellent recommended.

Most of this program will be held outdoors, and it will go forward rain or shine. Participants can choose how much of the valley they would like to explore during the program. The U of T Scarborough Valley Trail is wheelchair accessible; the trail that continues beyond is an uneven, dirt path. This program will include opportunities to sit down/rest.

Sheniz Janmohamed was born and raised in Tkaronto with ancestral ties to Kenya and India. A poet, nature artist and arts educator, she regularly visits schools and community organizations to teach and perform. Her nature art has been featured across Turtle Island, including the National Arts Centre and the Art Gallery of Mississauga. She has three collections of poetry, published by Mawenzi House: 'Bleeding Light' (2010), 'Firesmoke' (2014) and 'Reminders on the Path' (2021). Sheniz served as the Writer-in-Residence at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus in 2022.