Canada Day poem

Japanese maplesCanada Day

On this workless day, I think of Joy Kogawa, the family behind barbed wire, shunted in cars of corrugated tin into camps where
the sun eats time in handfuls, the earth a hollowed bin of the heart’s unmaking. I think of women, the missing
and the murdered, whose breath mushrooms
into fog that creeps up Ottawa
windows. Bones ground into
silt, swept into the corners of offices with yesterday’s Globe and Mail.

Fireworks tonight will rattle the sky’s
boarded-up windows,
smash sound walls, gunpowder mutating into stargazer lilies
that unfold in scrawling cursive light,
the booze-addled signatures
of shaky treaties. Where is

my country amidst the thickening
clouds, amid new laws against
voices whose edges scrape
away the remnants of rhetoric,
like forgotten pennies over convenience
store tickets? Today I have
nothing to declare.


(c) 2015 by Lisa Richter
July 1, 2015

New social justice anthology available for pre-order

I am pleased to announce that Voices for Diversity and Social Justice: A Literary Education Anthology, which will include my poem “Breaking the Ice,” is now available for pre-order on the publisher’s website and on Amazon, both in hardcover and paperback editions.

The editors have told me it will be going to print in June! So excited and honoured to be part of a project whose values are so near and dear to my heart.

Read more about the anthology and/or pre-order it here: Voices for Diversity and Social Justice anthology

A Typewriter in Flames

“A typewriter in flames is the metaphor here. To work in a medium which can be, has been, used as an instrument of trivialization and deceit, not to mention colonization…is different from working in a medium like stone, clay, paint, charcoal, even iron or steel. A poet cannot refuse language, but the poet can re-fuse the language given to him or her, bend and torque it into an instrument for connection instead of dominance and apartheid.” –Adrienne Rich, Foreword, The Fact of a Doorframe: Selected Poems 1950-2001 (2002)