On October 30, renowned Canadian poet and Officer of the Order of Canada, Lorna Crozier visited SMS and read aloud some of her poems and stories to a group of SY students. Her witty, poignant and plain-spoken narrative was an amazing way to bring poetry to life for the girls.

Each year SMS participates in Poetry in Voice, a recitation contest where all students in Grades 9 to 12 memorize and recite a poem in front of their classmates. Poetry in Voice has grown to become a cultural force in Canada, used in over 1,000 schools, that counts Margaret Atwood, Dionne Brand, George Elliott Clarke, Dennis Lee, and Anne Michaels among its supporters.

The program provides a poet visit to participating schools, and this year, thanks to SY teacher Ms. Pekter, SMS was lucky enough to host Crozier.

“The impetus for me to bring in a poet was to help make poetry come alive for the students. I want them to see how relevant it can be. And I really wanted them to see a renowned poet, someone that I knew was also a great teacher, communicator, and connector,” said Pekter. “My favourite part about today’s presentation was the way Lorna treated all the students as important women in their own right—and how she encouraged them to be the most courageous, and especially intelligent, versions of themselves as possible,” she said.

“Also, she is a fantastic storyteller and helped us all see the poetry, magic, and power in everyday objects—and how those little things are an excellent, and in fact really the best, way to write about the really big themes and issues in the world around us.”

Crozier took a deep dive into the meaning behind a sample of her poetry while also emphasizing female empowerment and strength.

“Poetry is a great way for you to be smart, and to be creative—it’s about taking risks. Poetry doesn’t want to explain, it wants you to think and to infer, it’s like no other artform. The music in our body is smarter than our intellect,” Crozier told the girls.

Crozier is the Head Chair in the Writing Department at the University of Victoria and has authored 17 books. Not only that, she has received a 1992 Governor General’s Award, the Canadian Author’s Association Award for Poetry, the National Magazine Award (Gold Medal), and first prize in the National CBC Literary Competition.