January 23, 2013

The Montreal poets of 1998

Every once in a while (an embarrassingly short while, to be honest), I Google lost friends and lovers. What ever happened to...? Listening to CBC Radio's The Next Chapter this week, I heard an interview with someone who edited a book of poetry by Canadians named Susan. She'd managed to narrow it down to 47 Sue's. With difficulty, apparently.

I was barely listening. She started to name them. "...Susan Musgrave, Susan somebody, Susie blather, Susan Elmslie...."

Sue Elmslie?

In the old days before I threw over the arts in favour of government and diplomacy, I helped put together a small poetry workshop that made up for being short-lived by being terrific. (I guess that doesn't make up for it. Makes it worse, really.) There were five of us. And we wanted to keep it that way. The local self-avowed poetry maven who ran a workshop that fairly vomited wannabe-poets even rang our members up and excoriated us for being exclusive.

Our group was excited about words. We loved how they fondled and frowned together. And, getting back to Google, Sue Elmslie was one of us. So were Rachel Rose, Fran Hahn and Masarah Van Eyck. They were terrific writers. More shockingly, some of them still are. (Well, I could never find Fran online, but I'd bet she's still at it.) I hardly write poems anymore but if you want to pore over my verse, be my guest.

Here are some poems of Sue's and some of Rachel's. Masarah's site is down, but maybe she'll post again someday and I will edit this entry.


  1. I've read your poems, Lia. They are powerful, indeed! Hope you can write some more.

  2. Thanks, Gina! Do you ever write poems?