The Lesley Strutt Memorial Chapbook for emerging poets over 40

Edited by Claudia Radmore and Joan Conway

This chapbook was created in memory of Lesley Strutt, a poet, friend and supporter of poets across Canada.

February 2022


Anne Archer, Sonja Arntzen, Barbara Black, Carol Casey, H.E. Casson, Marlene Grand Maître, Carla Harris, Louisa Howerow, Norma Kerby, Sharon Lax, Josephine LoRe, Jane Macdonald, Dharmpal Mahendra Jain, Tanya McIntyre, Anita Ngai, Susan Publicover, Carol A. Stephen and Susan Wismer.

Honouring Lesley Strutt: Lesley Strutt was an incredible poet, friend and supporter of emerging poets across Canada. Her recent passing has left a void for many people, and we feel it is important to do a few things to honour her writing, legacy, and all the incredible work she did for poets in Canada.

From the introduction

‘It’s never too late!”

I can almost hear Lesley Strutt whispering those words in our ears. Cheering us on. That was the kind of poet she was. That was how she lived, fully, with enthusiasm and light. And always with encouragement.  

This chapbook is a part of Lesley’s legacy, dedicated to supporting emerging poets later in life.  It wants poets, not just to show up, but to do so with heart, intention and clarity. Her own words mirror this. 

 Spring astonishes me _ half gone before I notice… red robins plump bellies and arpeggios in the throat. I have a throat that was once throttled. Now inky with its voice I get away with things I never dared before. In the stillness that follows I burn so ruthless until silence no man’s land breaks where the light seems through and explodes my aloneness. You there there again there singing to me at the top of your lungs. Leap! Lesley Strutt

With Lesley’s vibrant callout, let the conversations begin.  

About the Editors

Including three years training teachers in Vanuatu as a CUSO cooperant, Montreal-born writer Claudia Coutu Radmore has lived, taught and created art in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and China. She is the President of Haiku Canada. Claudia started catkin press in 2012, and along with several full collections, Accidentals (Apt. 9 Press, Ottawa) won the 2011 bpNichol Chapbook Award. On Fogo, poems short-listed for the 2017 Malahat Long Poem Contest, was published by The Alfred Gustav Press (Vancouver) in 2018. A poem from the camera obscura (2019, above/ground, Ottawa ) is included in The Best Canadian Poetry of 2019. A new collection rabbit (2020) is out with Aeolus Press.

Joan Conway lives in NW British Columbia. Her love for the culture and geography of her home strongly influences her work. In 2016 Joan spearheaded the creation of ‘Writers North of 54, a poetry collective whose main objective is to express the unique voice and landscape of this place. Joan sees her poetry as an avenue to create social change, build community, and to celebrate life. Joan’s studio, Green Blossom, is partially used as a venue for bringing poets to the north. Her work appeared in several anthologies and literary magazines. She is currently completing her first book of poetry ‘Singing the Night.’ Joan also has a personal blog that we encourage readers to explore, Green Blossom Studio.