I feel deeply enlivened after our intimate gathering in the studio
listening to Lesley Strutt, poet, blogger, essayist, playwright and professor. Lesley read her poetry as well as held a conversation on the poetic life; what poetry means to her and the power it can have in changing the world.
Lesley describes herself as a ‘soft activist’. She believes in the power of words and how they have the opportunity to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Lesley assures us that some things can be changed. Part of the process of change is to listen deeply. This first step offers an opening where we can enter into another place and grow as humans.
Lesley describes a poem as a concentrated, potent approximation of something she wants to capture. Inside of that is the importance that her poetry resonates with others. Lesley clarifies that she is not an ecstatic poet, nor is she interested in a rant. She instead invites the reader into places where we don’t have all of the answers, where we can ask ourselves the big questions; what is it like to be a human being, how do we feel about growing older, or about being a woman. Through poetry Lesley is interested in situations where we might not see around a corner; in our humanness we stumble, we are imperfect. Poetry offers the place to move from our positions of comfort and complacency into those rough edged aspects of our humanness.
Lesley is also the associate member representative for the League of Canadian Poets. In this position she is a mentor, encouraging poets to bring their work into the public domain no matter the form; whether it be self published, a blog or to established journals, poems must be read but more importantly, poetry must be listened to. It is through this exchange true change can happen.