Kayla Geitzler is from Moncton, NB, within the Mi'maq'ki, where she works as a writing consultant, hosts the Attic Owl Reading Series, and is the Anglophone Poet Laureate. Her first poetry collectionThat Light Feeling Under Your Feet is about the two years she worked on cruise ships. Kayla's poetry examines human relationships, and the natural and spiritual worlds, using powerful language and styles that often echo traditional writings of her heritage. All Lit Up has named Kayla a “Rad Woman of Canadian Poetry." She and her friend Elizabeth Blanchard are co-editors of a multilingual poetry collection called Cadence: Voix feminines Female Voices that showcases poetry from every corner of New Brunswick in Arabic, German, English, French and Vietnamese.
She holds an MA in English Creative Writing from the University of New Brunswick. She offers free writing advice on kaylagwrites.com
Poets who inspire her are: Pablo Neruda, Forough Farrokhzad, Anne Simpson, Layli long Soldier, Alden Nowlan, Safia Elhillo, Audre Lorde, Kathy Jentil-Kijiner, Jake Skeets.
I did read poetry in high school! I liked e.e. cummings, Alden Nowlan, Michael Ondaatje, Rita Joe, Robert Frost, Leonard Cohen, Christina Rosetti, Shakespeare, Anne Sexton, and Sylvia Plath. My favourite was Forough Farrokzhad, and she continues to be one of my favourite poets.
Another Birth - Forough Farrokzhad
My whole being is a dark chant
that, perpetuating you,
will carry you to the dawn of eternal growths
and blossomings [...]
I started writing poetry at thirteen. At sixteen, I was already thinking of myself as a poet. High school was difficult for me. I hated math, read “big books,” and did my own thing, which made me unpopular. English was my favourite subject, but I didn’t always hand in my assignments. Mr. Garry Mitton used to keep me after class to read to me in Middle English and talk about what his Master's degree gave him. He sometimes made me write a poem for him, then he'd read it out loud, hand it back to me, and tell me I could do better. After a haiku assignment, something I did hand in, he asked me all kinds of questions: where did my inspiration come from? Did the images come from inside or outside of me? He said, “You're great stuff, you could do this professionally.”
I think it is each poet's job to think deeply and broadly, and to look for new ways to represent their thoughts and feelings on the page. I also think it is a poet's job to support other poets and writers, and to make space for those who are striving to be heard or those who have not found equal representation. Poets can be thought of the as social consciences of their nations, so it also important to listen and read other poets, to respect their voices as they may be speaking for many others.
“the second time” by Rosanna Deerchild