This first installation of Fresh Voices is a project spearheaded by the League’s Associate Membership Representative, Lesley Strutt. The League’s associate members are talented poets who are writing and publishing poetry on their way to becoming established professional poets in the Canadian literary community. We are excited to be taking this opportunity to showcase the work of our associate members in this new series!

Curated by Lesley Strutt and Susan McMaster, these poems represent just a small portion of the great work being produced by our members, and we are excited to have this opportunity to share their poetry with you. If you are interested in contributing to Fresh Voices, please send 3-5 poems to [email protected]. You may submit only once per month, but you may submit every month until your poetry is selected. This opportunity is open only to associate members of the League–if you are interested in joining the League, please visit our membership page!

Driving North After Rush Hour

Jet-scarred sky,
neon orange,
precision streams form
a perfect cross
amid chaos.
Beauty within
our machinery:
signs of God
in the sunset.

— John Pickernell

John Pickernell was born in Toronto in 1966, has been writing poems, stories and songs since the late eighties. John’s poetry has a distinct urban backdrop and his poem, Helping Bobby close the shop, was winner of the 2003 Toronto Poetry Competition. He resides in Toronto with his wife and three sons.


evening sun after
summer rain
children pause their games
of hopscotch & marbles
look skyward
propelled from every corner
by something more mysterious than
rainbows reaching over English Bay
something more powerful than swarms of Hornets
whitecap wings pulsing
wave after wave
gulls return to the sea

— kjmunro

kjmunro was born & raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, she now lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Her chapbook, summer evening, is available through Leaf Press as number ten in their oak leaflet series. Her work has been published in print & online journals & anthologies in Canada, the USA & the UK, including Lake:  A Journal of Arts and Environment, Cirque, a Literary Journal for the North Pacific Rim, Modern Haiku, The Heron’s Nest & Presence, among others. Her haiku have been translated into German, Chinese, Romanian & Punjabi.

Luxe, Calme et Volupte

There’s circular chronology
in this forest fragment
You can touch the history
of its orbits

A black hole of a center
separates after a hundred and fifty years
with a little Bang

Two knots like Magellan clouds
in the event horizon
splay like clock hands

You think of Baudelaire’s poem
“Luxe, Calme et Volupte”
and carve these words of carpe diem
on the outer rim of this small woody galaxy

We set our morning coffee
on this closed cosmos
of “luxury, peace and pleasure”
and toast the memory
of this mighty pine

— Sue Bracken

Sue lives in Toronto in a house ruled by artists and animals. Her debut collection of poetry is forthcoming in 2018 with Tightrope Books.

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