Heartfelt: Custom poems for Valentine’s Day

The League of Canadian Poets is thrilled to present Heartfelt 2024, an online experience designed to pair some of Canada's most talented poets with you, to craft you the perfect Valentine's Day gift: a custom poem.

Spontaneous poetry writing can capture the feeling, image or essence of a special moment, event or conversation. Heartfelt 2024 will connect you with a Canadian poet who, after a brief conversation, will write a unique, personal, and beautiful spontaneous poem just for you. This cherished event is an uplifting way to celebrate a special occasion, loved one, or memory. 

Book your custom poem appointment

Poets have various available time slots between Thursday, February 8, 2024 and Wednesday, February 14, 2024. This experience can be booked as a one-on-one session with the poet, or booked as a pair to elevate the personalized experience.

The cost of a custom poem experience is $20. In 2024, participants will have the option of adding on the design of their custom poem: following the session with our poets, our team will type up your custom poem and prepare it in one of three templates for your personal use.

  • Book your 15-minute appointment
  • Decide if you'd like the design add-on
  • Complete your registration by paying the fee
  • Sign on to Zoom during your appointment time
  • Chat with your poet about what you'd like in your custom poem
  • Receive your poem via email within 1-2 business days
  • Give a beautiful, unique Valentine's Day gift!

The link above should pop out a window that allows you to book your appointment time; if this is not working for you, you can open the booking page in a new window here.

Proceeds from Heartfelt will help us grow and sustain our outreach programs (like Poetry Pause), create paid publication opportunities for poets (like the LCP Chapbook Series), support our awards in recognition of the incredible talents in Canadian poetry, and better connect and support our hundreds of poet members across Canada.

Meet the poets

Antonia Facciponte is a poet in Toronto. She received her Master's Degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from U of T. Her first book is titled To Make a Bridge (Black Moss Press, 2021) and her poem "The House" won the 2022 Accenti Poetry Prize.

Maureen Hynes’s first poetry collection, Rough Skin, won the League of Canadian Poets’ Gerald Lampert Award for best first book of poetry by a Canadian. Her 2016 collection, The Poison Colour, was shortlisted for the League’s Pat Lowther and Raymond Souster Awards. Maureen’s fifth book of poetry, Sotto Voce, was a finalist for the Lowther Award and the Golden Crown Literary Award for lesbian writers (U.S.). Her poetry has been included in over 30 anthologies, including three times in Best Canadian Poems in English (2010, 2016 and 2020), and in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2021). http://maureenhynes.com/.

Sharon Lax lives in Deux-Montagnes, Québec, on land stolen: from, among others, people of the Kanienʼkehá꞉ka Nation. She finds poetry to be a resolute guide but describing the elements and situations we find ourselves in often too complex for even this art form: often viewed as a "distillation" of the energy of experience and knowledge. Sharon’s short-story collection Shattered Fossils was published by Guernica Editions in 2020. Her work has appeared in carte blanche, Montréal Serai, Vallum, The Dalhousie Review and in the League of Canadian Poets' poem of the day. Stop by: sharonlax.com.

Grace Ma is a law student at McGill and former Editor-in-Chief of the Trinity Review at the University of Toronto. She has participated in Poetry-in-Union since its inception, and is grateful and delighted to return as a spontaneous poet for her third year. Grace’s poems can be found in the UC Review, Acta Victoriana, and margins of notebooks. You can read more of her work on her (newest) blog, https://thegreenhours.wordpress.com/

Kate Marshall Flaherty offers spontaneous occasional p.o.e.m.s "Poems of the Extraordinary Moment" live and on Zoom. She also guides poetry workshops for all ages live and on zoom. See Kate's books, award-winning performance poetry videos, sample poems, and StillPoint Writing and Poetry Editing workshops on her website. 

Laura K. McRae is a teacher in Toronto, Ontario where she lives and writes. She grew up in Los Angeles, California and Houston, Texas, attending Rice University for her undergraduate degree in English, but Toronto is her home. Her poems have appeared in journals in Canada and the U.S, most recently Grain Magazine, Sugared Water and The Fiddlehead. Her chapbook, Distributaries, appeared in 2016 from Frog Hollow Press, and her full-length collection, Were There Gazelle, was published by Pedlar Press in 2020.

Susie Whelehan loves all kinds of writing: essays, letters, articles, memoir, lists, scripts for children's TV shows, poems that she works on over many months as well as spontaneous poems that she works on over many minutes to raise funds for the League of Canadian Poets. Her poetry and essays have appeared in several journals, anthologies, The Globe & Mail, The Toronto Star, and friends’ and family’s birthday cards. Susie won first place in The Canadian Church Press Awards and the Lake Scugog Ekphrastic Poetry contest. With Anne Laurel Carter, she co-edited and contributed her memoir to "My Wedding Dress: True-Life Tales of Lace, Laughter, Tears and Tulle", published by Knopf/Random House. Her first poetry collection, "The Sky Laughs at Borders", was published by Piquant Press. Susie was thrilled to be a part of the very first “Poetry in Union”, (and all the ones since) and looks forward to this spreading across the country.