Welcome to my page.
Here’s an example of one of the favourite exercises I give workshop
participants — to write about a photo of themselves, in the first person,
Cast Photo — July, 2006
(and I don’t mean dramatic monologue cast, although I survived that too)
“Here I am pretending to be coping well with my broken foot. I am not. I
still can’t believe how I did it. Walking across the campus of St. F.X.
University for my first one-to-one meeting with poet Anne Simpson — after a
great first morning in her workshop — I fell into an unseen wheelchair dip
and ended up in a wheelchair. Talk about recruitment tactics.
My whole summer is shot. If one more person says in a chirpy voice, “At
least you’ll still be able to write!” I may be charged with murder. I am not
able to write, I’m too frustrated. I want to mow the lawn, pull weeds from
the veggie gardens, pick peas, go to the beach or at least have a bath, and
sleep upstairs in my own bed.
Think I’ll close my eyes to the deadheading that needs to be done in these
flowerpots and have unprotected sun. Ahhhhh, that’s better.”
Some bald facts about me:
Once upon a time I was co-ordinator of PEI Women’s Network, then the
executive director of the PEI Literacy Alliance and, after that, the
director of the L.M. Montgomery Institute at UPEI. I retired to become
something more lucrative, a freelance poet. Well, maybe more satisfying.
I am an award-winning poet, writing workshop facilitator, past president of
the PEI Writers’ Guild, and recipient of the 2008 Award for Distinguished
Contribution to the Literary Arts on PEI. Acorn Press Canada has published
my book of poetry, Long Reach Home, and my non-fiction book of 27
interviews, Kindred Spirits: Relationships that Spark the Soul. I love
giving public and school poetry readings, so have read in PEI, NB and NS,
Labrador, Edmonton and Vancouver, as well as on various CBC radio shows
aired to the Maritimes.
I love to row down the stream behind the century farmhouse in West Covehead, where I live with my husband Andy, who helped me get down the steep hill to my tiny rowboat with my cast still on. A section of my current manuscript is about the healing power of that small stream and pond.
That manuscript became What Really Happened Is This: A Poetry Memoir, launched in November 2011. It won the 2012 PEI Book Award for poetry.
To see a review from the Chronicle Herald of What Really Happened Is This click here.
To read a review of Long Reach Home, click here.
To visit my page at the League of Canadian Poets, click here.
In February, 2013, I was appointed Poet Laureate of Prince Edward Island for a 3 year term. To reach the poet laureate’s website, click here.