the author

Mary Lou Soutar-Hynes is a Jamaican-Canadian, poet/educator and former nun. A Fellow at Scotland’s Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers in Fall 2009, her literary publications include the collections: Dark Water Songs (2013), Inanna Publications; Travelling Light (2006), long-listed for the 2007 ReLit Poetry Award, and The Fires of Naming (2001), both published by Seraphim Editions.

Her poetry appears in the anthologies: Calling Cards: New Poetry from Caribbean/Canadian Women, Sandberry Press, 2005; Garden Variety, An Anthology of Flower Poems, Quattro Books, 2007; and Resonance: Poetry and Art, Sixth Floor Press, 2008, and in journals such as Quills, The Toronto Quarterly, Arc, and Lichen. The poem, “of water-boots and doilies,” from The Fires of Naming (2001), is the subject of an essay in Implicate Me, Short Essays on Reading Contemporary Poems, by Elana Wolff, Guernica (2010). Her essay, “Beyond Questionable Certainties” appears in Canadian Woman Studies/les cahiers de la femme 29 (1, 2) (Fall/Winter 2011): 37-43.

Publications in 2012:

The poems “Senza Titolo” and back-story in the Poet to Poet Anthology, eds. J. Roorda & E. Wolff, Guernica Editions (2012); “On renderings” in Poetry Wales, Spring, 2012, Issue 47.4; “Independence: Early Days” in the Jubilation! Anthology, ed. K. Dawes, Peepal Tree Press (2012); and essays in poetry and prose, “Points of Articulation,” in The Art of Poetic Inquiry, eds. S. Thomas, A. Cole & S. Stewart, Backalong Books (2012); and “Where Surf Meets Shore: Reflections from the Edge,” in Jamaica in the Canadian Experience, A Multiculturalizing Presence, eds. C.E. James & A. Davis, Fernwood Publishing (2012).

An alumna of the Banff Writing Studio Program (1998), she is a long-standing member of the Long Dash group of poets in Toronto, and initiator of the group’s long running collaborative project with studio artists from the Women’s Art Association of Canada, a project that has given rise to joint exhibitions and readings in each of the projects six years. A member of the League of Canadian Poets, The Writers’ Union of Canada and the Women’s Art Association of Canada, she has featured in public readings in Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, Merrickville, Picton, Montreal, Halifax, Antigonish, Charlottetown, St. John, Vancouver, Victoria, and in Perth, Scotland and Bournemouth, England.

Retired from the Ontario Ministry of Education, she divides her time between writing/poetry and education-related projects.

Recent featured readings/events include:

  • ― “Where Surf Meets Shore: Reflections from the Edge,” presentation/reading, Colloquium and Launch of Jamaica in the Canadian Experience, York University, Toronto, Nov. 2, 2012.
  • ― “Towards Balance: Conversations in Poetry and Art, A Reading and Exhibition,” The Women’s Art Association of Canada, Toronto, April 29, 2012
  • ― National Poetry Month Reading, Parkdale Public Library, Toronto, April 27, 2012.
  • ― “Jamaica 50 Reading,” Malvern Public Library, April 16, 2012.
  • ― Poetry: Seeing, Understanding, Caring, 3rd. International Symposium on Poetic Inquiry, Bournemouth University, Dorset, UK, October 20-23, 2011.
  • ― Art Bar Reading Series, Toronto, August 2, 2011.
  • ― National Poetry Month Reading, Parkdale Public Library, Toronto, April 21, 2011.
  • ― “A Spring Celebration of Poetry and Art,” The Women’s Art Association of Canada, Toronto, April 17, 2011.
  • ― “Climates of Collaboration,” A National Poetry Month Reading and Exhibition, The Women’s Art Association of Canada, Toronto, April, 25, 2010
  • − “Poetry, Politics and Passion,” A Different Booklist, Toronto, March 19, 2010
  • − Poetry As a way of Knowing, 2nd. International Symposium on Poetic Inquiry, Centre for Arts Informed Research, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, October 15-18, 2009
  • − William Soutar House Reading, Perth, Scotland, October 7, 2009.