Hynes photo 15"Art is not documentary. It may accidentally serve that function in its own way, but its true effort is to open us to dimensions of the spirit and the self that normally lie smothered under the weight of living. "

-- Jeannette Winterson




Photo:  Vivek Shraya 

As a poet, editor and educator, Maureen believes that a primary principle for her work is for it to be holistic – that it intensely engage cognition, our senses and our emotions, which are such mysterious masters and servants in our lives, but which also form the constellation that makes us human.

"My poetry," says Maureen, "emerges from my habit of writing steadily out of everyday experience and what I’ve been witnessing around me, in my family and community, and in the broader world.  In this search, I sometimes find the still moment where a small spark or connection or realization can be made, hopefully with grace, that will birth a poem."

Maureen's fifth book of poetry, Sotto Voce, was released in October 2019 from Brick Books.

Sotto Voce, says Maureen, is a book intended "to give full attention to a world in shambles, a world in which “mercy is failing,” to bear witness to the “dynamite stick of injustice,” one that balances fear and hope, gathering themes of history and human migration; of climate change and the pleasures of natural beauty; of women’s lives, both straight and queer; and finally, good fortune and renewal.  Because of my work with other Toronto poets to combine “Lost Rivers” walking tours with poetry, the presence of rivers courses through the book from start to finish. I’ve gathered in appeals to ancestors or goddesses, and called upon instances of good fortune and our own personal “concoctions,” our sometimes effective, sometimes imperfect ways of recovering from loss – song and the arts, laughter and laments, acceptance and love. "

"But, she says, "it's important to know when to speak loudly, and when to whisper."

Check out her discussions on the writing of the poems in Sotto Voce:  The Treasures and the Damage on the Literary Press Group's "All Lit Up" website and  The Allure of the Ordinary, and Wrestling Poems into Coherence and Beauty on the Ontario Book Publishers' website, "Open Book."  

To read or hear some of Maureen's newer poems, go to Poems and Other WritingsRecently published work in the bilingual literary journal, La Presa.

And check the News and Events page for what she's currently up to.

And if you are interested in the workshops and courses she offers or her editing services, see Teaching & Editing.

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