Cobourg Poetry Workshop
feature poet

Glenda Jackson


"hope" is the thing with feathers -
that perches in the soul -
and sings the tune without the words-
and never stops - at all - '
..............................Emily Dickinson

Glenda Jackson was born in Toronto where she lived until 2007, when she moved to Cobourg. "Cobourg has been an integral part of my life since infancy. My paternal, British grandfather, was an admirer of Cobourg and we used to gather in Victoria Park for picnics and reunions, so it's with great fondness that I recall many cherished Cobourg memories."

Glenda taught school in Toronto from 1969 until her retirement in 2004, including poetry as part of her English language curriculum. When her daughter and family decided to move to Cobourg, Glenda was not far behind. She is now a vital member of the Cobourg Poetry Workshop.

Online with Glenda Jackson

You are relatively new to the poetry scene - part of the Cobourg Poetry Workshop's (CPW) new wave - how did this come about?
I'm new to the poetry 'writing' scene, joining the workshop in the fall of 2007, but not to poetry itself. The wish to put pen to paper, of fingers to the keyboard, in order to write my own verse, has come with the gift of time that retirement brings and with the discovery of the thriving life of poetry in Cobourg.

How would you describe your poetry?
I think I'd describe it as dynamic, in that I've noticed it to be quite changeable, reflecting the varying moods and themes that my heart, mind and soul attempts to explore.

When an idea for a poem strikes you, what process do you go through to reach the finished poem - or 'finished for now' poem?
Each poem has a different process, its own pathway. Some come quickly and with precision. Most, however, have to be worked and re-worked until I feel it's ready to be shared with the members of the workshop.

Speaking of which, how was it, reading your work for the first time in front of a group of poets?
Scarey. Was my poem good enough? Do I belong here? What are they really thinking - about my poem and about me. Yes, scarey.
And then there was your first public reading at the 3rd Thursday Poetry Readings. It was a lot of work getting ready for it. But I felt prepared and so enjoyed the experience. The audience was polite and very supportive.

In what direction do you see your poetry going?
Hopefully, growing and developing. I'm at an early, learning stage. I need to let it take its own direction and I need to respect the journey. I don't want to try and control it. The nature of my poetry is reflective, of how I'm thinking and feeling at the time, and that in itself can be a crazy journey! I think I want to become more relaxed.

Who are your favourite poets?
They vary. Right now my favourites are Emily Dickenson, Thomas Hardy and Robert Frost. I don't 'go' from one poet to another. They are always there, like an old friend that I might not see very often, but know that I love them and honour who and what they are.

Canadian Poets?
Currently, Robyn Sarah and Lara Bozabalian. They have both read at the 3rd Thursday Poetry Readings this year and I enjoyed their poetry very much. What attracted me to them? Their poetry was an affiliation to much of what they said and the skill and grace with how they said it.

Your Thoughts on the Cobourg Poetry Workshop.
WOW! I'm so very happy to have discovered it. You know, we're all very fortunate to be a part of such a unique group - being with people who appreciate poetry and support each other in our individual quests for artistic expression. Poetry is a curious world - one in which the imagination can soar and create. I love it.

What are you reading these days?
I'm something of an eclectic reader. As an aspiring painter, right now I'm enjoying books about famous painters. And, of course, I would not be without my Northumberland Today.

Who do I admire in life? Anyone who can rise above adversity and create a meaningful life in whatever form that takes.

Anything you'd like to add?

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