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pink022This week I had the pleasure to attend an event at UVIC to celebrate one of Canada’s poets Lorna Crozier.

It made me miss being at the university and more importantly it made me miss poetry.

But it was a lovely evening. There were stories and anecdotes and poetry read by Patrick Lane, Carla Funk, Brad Cran, Jane Urquhart and Steven Price. The event was hosted by CBC’s Shelagh Rogers.

I laughed, I cried and I remembered why I loved poetry to begin with and asked myself why I stopped writing it. Each of the speakers had tales of overcoming great hurdles and how poetry helped them not only wade through it, but connect with others. Bran Cran actually cried at the podium, because he had the honour of telling the story of how Lorna was the one teacher who changed his world. He was an undiagnosed dyslexic and was simply told he was too stupid to do anything but a trade when he was a kid. (What?!) It wasn’t until his own children were diagnosed with the disability (what a silly word, that) that he understood why the education system had been so hard for him. He wanted to write fiction, and as part of the writing program you have to take poetry. He introduced himself to Lorna “Hi, I’m Brad, and I’m going to flunk your class.” Turns out that poetry was what allowed him to connect, and Lorna who showed him how. But really, what an amazing difference one person made in his life.

I left with my little signed scroll from Lorna in my hand and vowed to myself that I would start writing poetry again.