Articles & Reviews

"NDG Poets Feel 'Write' at Home Here", Nancy Snipper, The Monitor, October 2000

"I write poetry as a catharsis for me-as a way both to understand an experience and its impact on my life," said NDG's prolific poet Stephen Morrissey.

A self-described confessional poet, Morrissey uses narrative to reveal intimate moments in family relationships. Though specific in event and feeling, Morrissey's genius embraces a universality that speaks to us all.

"I'm off the Simon Fraser University to give a talk on Allan Ginsberg," said Morrissey, who has taken to heart the advice of the late Beat poet.

"Ginsberg said that a poet should write down his nakedness because it is the nakedness of the soul that people are interested in reading," stated the 50 year old Morrissey, married to Carolyn Zonailo, also a poet whose work Wading the Trout River, is dedicated to Stephen and their children.

An English professor at Champlain College, Morrissey said NDG has always been a great place for budding poets.

"There are so many poets nearby. Irving Layton lived on Monkland Street. My brother went to Westhill High School with his son. It was and still is such a wonderful place to grow up," enthused Morrissey, whose collection of poems Mapping the Soul offers remarkable pieces about NDG, including "Heaven". It's his boyhood tribute to our neighbourhood whose sweet images weave a warm cocoon of intergenerational family life:

...In Notre Dame de Grace,
I lived in an envelope of love, I lived
in God's arms and rested
my head on His shoulder...

Copyright © 2003 The author