Po­ets Among Us

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Lennoxville, Sher­brooke

April is Na­tional Po­etry Month not only in Canada but around the world; thirty days ded­i­cated to cel­e­brat­ing the won­der and beauty of po­etic verse. De­spite the wan­ing gov­ern­ment sup­port for the lit­er­ary arts (one of Canada’s most re­spected lit­er­ary maga-

zines, Des­cant, had its fed­eral grants cut for sev­eral years, forc­ing it to fold last De­cem­ber af­ter forty-four years), the art of po­etry seems alive and well in the Eastern Town­ships.

In both large and small vil­lages in our re­gion there are sev­eral writ­ing work­shop groups, led by ded­i­cated and tal­ented writ­ers them­selves, who meet reg­u­larly to in­spire and learn from each other. Pro­fes­sional and am­a­teur po­ets alike are also en­cour­aged to sub­mit their work, ev­ery cou­ple of years, for edi­tions of Town­ship­pers’ As­so­ci­a­tion’s Taproot se­ries, now a to­tal of five col­lec­tions of po­etry, prose and images.

In an in­ter­view with the Stanstead Jour­nal, two of the writ­ers who had some of their po­ems pub­lished in the lat­est edi­tion of Taproot, Tanya Belle­humeur-Al­latt and Mar­jorie Bruh­muller, spoke about their work and their life as po­ets.

“It re­ally hit me that I wanted to fo­cus on writ­ing once my youngest child was in kinder­garten and I had the house to my­self. I had al­ways wanted to be a writer but I just got caught up with my ca­reer and my fam­ily,” ex­plained Ms. Belle­humeur-Al­latt, a mother of four who also taught English at Cham­plain Col­lege for many years.

Also a writer of sto­ries, Tanya has just re­ceived a pres­ti­gious Canada Coun­cil Grant for the Arts to com­plete a col­lec­tion of short sto­ries based on her ex­pe­ri­ences living in the Mid­dle East when she was a girl of twelve, and she has had her po­ems pub­lished in sev­eral lit­er­ary jour­nals. She got her po­etry writ­ing off to a good start by tak­ing a po­etry course at Bishop’s Uni­ver­sity. “My pro­fes­sor, Robert Allen, re­ally en­cour­aged me to try and get pub­lished, so I sub­mit­ted my work to Taproot II and got ac­cepted,” said Tanya, con­tin­u­ing: “Taproot was re­ally spe­cial for me. First, writ­ers need read­ers, and, be­cause it was read by lo­cal peo­ple, I’d get a lot of good feed­back in per­son.”

Now a pro­lific poet who has also been nom­i­nated for a few lit­er­ary awards, Tanya spoke about what in­spires her to write po­etry. “Po­etry is like a post­card, cap­tur­ing a mo­ment in time, cel­e­brat­ing the sim­ple things in life,” she said. Her poem Break­fast at Jay’s, which ap­pears in Taproot V, is a good ex­am­ple of that and a won­der­ful poem to read. “I

cont'd page 7

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.