Honey Novick was born on Yorkville Avenue in Toronto, her home base. She is a singer/songwriter/voice teacher as well as a poet. She directs the Creative Vocalization Studio and facilitates groups at the Secret Handshake Gallery (Voice Yoga), creative writing at the Diane Frankling Cooperative, and artist resource at the Friendly Spike Theatre Band. She is active on Facebook and her website is www.honeynovick.com. She states that “Poetry that speaks to me, as in lyrics, or sounds or philosophy, is my preferance. Poetry that tells stories and gives me perspective and changes me and touches me is what I seek. I love the poetry of Daisaku Ikeda, Kazuko Shiraishi, bill bissett, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Paul Simon, June Clifton, nikki giovanni, Joy Harjo, John Trudell, Mary Oliver, Shel Silverstein, the poetry of the Song of Solomon and many many unsung poets, people in the community who value the language of the poetic soul.”
I read some poetry in school but mainly listened to Bob Dylan over and over. No one had ever asked me “How does it feel?” I do remember “Richard Cory” and “She's Someone's Mother.”
I first started writing poetry when I was either 9 or 10 years old. I tried to write a parable about a peacock. I don't remember the content but I remember being admonished because the teacher said it should have been a “peahen” not a “peacock.” That traumatized me. Rather than seeing if the content was any good, I was chided for not knowing the female form of this bird. Perhaps a decade later, while involved with the iconic Canadian performance art group General Idea, I would write and write and then asked Poet-in-Residence Irving Layton to read my words. He read everyting in my file folder, closed it dramatically and pronounced, “My dear, these aren't poems, these are songs!!” I, too, found that disheartening. I wrote songs and doggerel rhymes for children and nonsense constantly. Occasionally I sang with a group called JaymzBee and the Look People and Jaymz always referred to me as a poet. In my late 30s, I met bill bissett who took me seriously as a poet and encouraged me to keep opining, expressing, proferring and regard what I did as poetry. I then joined the Ontario Poetry Society and started to develop myself. I started to take myself seriously in my 40s and eventually joined the League of Canadian Poets. When I went to deliver my application form, I was nervous. Crossing the threshold, I burst into tears because the emotion of what I was doing overwhelmed me. That was my moment of transformation.
My job as a poet is to encourage curiosity in people. It is to be creative and value language, rhythm, sound and to know unequivocally that poetry connects one to oneself, to others and to a wider community. My job is to find creative ways that keep a flame within me fed and to share that with others in schools, in writing groups and in readings. Poetry is a way of making friends. In a fearful world, poetry is an act of rebellion that keeps hope alive.
"My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose" by Robbie Burns. I heard this poem often in elementary school and high school. It wasn't until I was asked to sing it that I became aware of the profundity of these words. The words address time spans and loneliness. They convey a sorrow in a powerful, beautiful plaintive call to the universe. It makes me realize that the rose symbol is cherished, painful, and so very passionate. It allowed me to travel to this world where all these elements exist as long as I had the courage to go.