These workshops will make you a better writer and a better person
— Michael Janzen - Animator and poet
Whenever someone reaches out to me to ask about how to break into poetry, I send them towards Robin Richardson’s workshop first. It’s such an amazing space to share your work and be vulnerable and open to people’s opinion, process, and art.
— Tea Mutonji, author of Shut Up, You're Pretty. Forthcoming with Arsenal Pulp Press
Her keen eye for execution of craft and her ability to see the sincere from the sentimental were instrumental in realizing this collection’s ultimate potential.
— Douglas Walbourne-Gough - Author of Crow Gulch
A Robin Richardson mentorship is the kick of reality, inspiration and confidence your work needs!
— Siobhan Jameson - Novel forthcoming with Quattro
I highly recommend this workshop (honestly, any workshop with Robin!) I can’t believe it was just four sessions, because it has profoundly wiggled stuff loose. I finally have a practical way to investigate my dreams and now I see the wisdom of fairy tales and can’t wait to read more! Robin creates a warm and welcoming space to explore your writing, without judgement. Even when I doubt my own work, she always finds layers of meaning and the jewel at the centre. It’s clear she is on her own journey and honestly delights in supporting others on theirs. Now I have new tools for my ongoing exploration of writing and life—it feels like I’m starting a new chapter.
— Diane Hill - Student

For the ambitious and unflinching poet, Robin Richardson offers engaging and intensive workshops and seminars designed to improve your writing with life-changing techniques formulated over years of experience. She has a unique approach to teaching, ensuring each student's work is intimately understood, as an honest appraisal of both strengths and weaknesses is offered with compassion and constructive methods for improvement.

The philosophy is simple: value honesty, bravery, and vulnerability, and believe that with self-knowledge and dedication to craft, anyone can create works of impact. 

Once you engage with Robin in a professional capacity, you have her full attention and dedication to honing your work to its full potential. Be clear about your goals and upfront about your struggles, and you will find you get exactly what you need.

Pupils have gone on to publish books and chapbooks with esteemed Canadian presses, and continue to expand their reach with ongoing publications and awards. 

Email to register

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Dear Poets, 

It’s been five years since the launch of the Unsympathetic Poetry Workshops. It has been a deeply rewarding endeavour as I’ve been able to watch and participate in so many of your careers and creative exploration.

As the workshops fill up with increasingly frequency I believe it’s time to do some restructuring to ensure maximum value for everyone involved. Much of these changes have been prompted by student feedback, as well as examination of other international workshop models.

The new format will ensure smaller more tailored classed, as well as more individualized feedback and intensive poetic education.

The prices have increased to allow for the new format and to account for my own growth and increased capabilities. I hope you’ll find these changes as exciting and agreeable as I do.


Workshops will be grouped into Tiers

Tier 1 – Beginners 

If you have been writing and attending workshops for less than a year, or are transitioning from another form, this workshop is for you. We cover the basics of format, structure, language, and content. You will be in a small group of writers who are at a similar place, and will receive individualized guidance with your work.

 Tier 2 – Intermediate

You have been writing and attending workshops for between 1 and 3 years and feel ready to advance your writing and career.   

Tier 3 – Advanced 

You have been writing poetry and attending workshops for over 3 years, and are getting published on a rolling basis. These workshops are for seasoned writers looking to hone their craft and to test the limits of their capacities. Here we look as publication, book compiling, metric cohesion, content innovation, and other endeavours as they apply to the advancement of craft and career.   

Additional Feedback

Attendance in all tiers will be invited to submit their revised workshop poems for individualized edits and overall notes from me. Poems must be submitted within a month of the workshop.

Smaller Classes

Classes will be capped at 4 participants, allowing for more time and attention paid to each piece. Attendants will also be at the same stage in their writing, so feedback will be better tailored to participant’s needs. 

Greater frequency

Workshops will be held bi-weekly or weekly at all tiers, so if you need never worry about missing a month or two because you were unable to attend one of the sessions.

 Poetic Exposure

Workshops will now include exposure to new poets and poems, chosen specifically based on the group of participants and their tier.

New Pricing Model

Tiers 1 & 2      

$95      per session  

Tier 3

$120    per session

Thank you all for your love of and dedication to poetry, and for making these workshops what they are. 

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Upcoming Workshops & Seminars

to register

Intensive Poetry Workshop

Saturday June 22nd

Tier 1    -    11am
Tier 2    -    3pm

 Sunday June 23rd

Tier 3    -    11 am

Spaces Limited to 4 – Reserved upon payment  The Unsympathetic Poetry Workshops have gained quick popularity as participants find themselves tapping into inner resources, and digging up truths they never knew they had. They are an intensive, engaging, and revealing experience, which you are certain to walk away from with a stronger sense of poetry and of yourself.
All you need it one poem and a willingness to get honest and engaged. to register

Accessibility: The workshops and seminars are not wheelchair accessible, however, I offer one-on-one alternatives in accessible public spaces at negotiable rates. Email for details.


Tuesdays, May 7, 14, 21, 28

Great writing comes from a place deeper and more mysterious than the intellect. Over the course of this four-week seminar you will learn to access the long-dormant elements of your own unconscious. We will use intensive, unconventional exercises, exploring dreams, archetypes, memory, and myth, to tap your potential as a writer. Will include close readings of fairytales and other related material.

This seminar is very much open to repeat attendance as we will focus on new fairytales and continue to cultivate the unconscious symbols you have already unearthed. 

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I’ve recently had the privilege of working with Robin on my first collection of poems. Her keen eye for execution of craft and her ability to see the sincere from the sentimental were instrumental in realizing this collection’s ultimate potential. She also recognizes the strength in vulnerability and honesty in good writing, two things key to my own practice. Simply put, I trust her with my work. - Douglas Walbourne-Gough, author of Crow Gulch

"I have hired Robin Richardson to do a one-on-one mentorship with me. Her first reading of my manuscript was spot on and I am currently reading 4 suggested poets to guide me in rewriting, honing my manuscript and creating new work. She has an exacting eye and truly can pick out your voice. I truly recommend her." - Jennifer Eagle

"Robin Richardson is as honest and fearless an editor and mentor as she is a writer and visual artist.  She is not afraid of oceans, bears or volcanoes. She will read your work with her heart. Since working with Robin I have become a braver writer; her grace and intelligence will buoy and inspire anyone lucky enough to work with her." - Shannon Bramer, Author of Precious Energy in Progress

"The workshops are carefully organized and tailored to educate students in the craft of both thinking more deeply and writing more fluidly while simultaneously challenging each participant to grow and to hone our skills as writers. One of the ways in which Robin manages to do this is by getting participants to search themselves and to dwell upon their vulnerabilities in the service of reaching a deeper truth. A result of her approach here is more honest, penetrating, and confident writing. Her passion for the poetic verse is matched by her apparently effortless competence to teach it. As an educator, I envy her confident comfort and poise within the workshop setting as well as her conscientious attention to each student. Robin is a master of the craft and it shows. Not only does her ability as a poet and teacher shine at each moment, but it is also infectious. One of the most impressive parts of having participated in Robin’s workshops is to see the enthusiasm that she brings to the educational setting spread to and invigorate all in attendance. " Brandon Fenton, Department of Philosophy at York University.

"It was a pleasure and a privilege to work with Robin. I was extremely impressed by her knowledge of craft and poetic technique, combined with an uncanny ability to rapidly identify the "core" of a poem, as well as its weaknesses. She has a gift for visualizing a poem's potential as well, so that her edits are not merely subtracting from what's on the page, but guiding and encouraging the poet to dig deeper, stay true to her authentic voice, and write from a place of honesty and courage. Her mentoring for an emerging writer such as myself was incredibly helpful, direct, and supportive, exactly what I needed at this juncture." Lisa Richter, poet with Tightrope Books.

"Robin Richardson's Unsympathetic Poetry Workshop is for emerging and established writers alike to gain critical insight into their poetry. Robin facilitates an encouraging environment of thoughtful discussion that lets participants look deeper at works in progress in a whole new light, making the job of revision much less of a daunting task. I highly recommend her workshop to poets at any stage in their writing career." Joshua C. Buchard, Poet.

"Robin Richardson's Unsympathetic Poetry Workshops have helped to frame what I look for when I'm ready to move forward with a poem. She has helped me to see when I am opening up in my work, and has challenged me when I am closing off; encouraging me to find language that will service the poem, and really say what I mean. She has helped me to mine the difficult spaces, not to shy away from the ugly parts, the parts that are rough around the edges, or the straightforward because there can be clarity and resonance in that which isn't perfectly crafted. When it was very easy for me to get caught up in the poeticism of language, Robin encouraged me to share just a little more, to be less abstract, to dare to be a little more honest which is what I think finding the Unsympathetic Voice is all about. Working in service of the poem to bring it to its fullest potential." Suzanna Derewicz, Screenwriter, poet, Social Media Strategist at Minola Review.