The League is happy to announce that Carolyne Van Der Meer is the new council representative for Quebec.
Why is poetry important to you?
In the words of Quebec novelist and poet David Goudreault, “Poetry is just another way of saying” (“La poésie est de dire autrement”). I believe this is true—another way of telling a story, another way of hearing a message. I think hearing stories told in new ways gives us new energy, and in turn energizes the world around us. And in some ways, I feel that poetry has found new footing and is experiencing a revival. The Guardian reported in early 2019 that poetry sales had hit an all-time high in the UK in 2018—due to the fact that teens and millennials seem to turn to poetry in times of political upheaval and uncertainty. While the reasons for the revival might be disturbing, there is reason to hope that this need for poetry will continue.
What are your plans as Quebec Representative for the League?
Simply put, I just want to see the power of poetry grow. In particular, I’d like to see the francophone and anglophone poetry scenes mix more—and I’d like to work to make this happen in a more concerted fashion. I’d also like to see Quebec poets connect more concretely with poets across the country. Let’s share the way we tell stories. Language is not a barrier, it’s an enhancer—and just allows even more ways to tell the story.
Carolyne Van Der Meer is an award-winning fiction writer, poet and journalist who has two published books to her credit: Motherlode: A Mosaic of Dutch Wartime Experience (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2014) and Journeywoman (Inanna Publications, 2017). Two collections of poetry are forthcoming, a short, bilingual collection about the life of Marguerite Bourgeoys from Guernica Editions in 2020, and a full-length collection called Sensorial from Inanna in 2021. Carolyne’s work has been published in literary journals in Canada, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, the U.K. and the United States. She is the Deputy Editor and Reviews Editor of UK-based Brontë Studies, the only journal fully dedicated to the study of the Brontë family and their works. Carolyne holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in English Literature from University of Ottawa and Concordia University respectively, and has a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from the Humber School for Writers. In addition to working as a public relations professional, she is a lecturer in McGill University’s Public Relations and Marketing Communications program.
Read Carolyne Van Der Meer’s poems that have appeared Poetry Pause: