Kayla Geitzler is from Moncton, New Brunswick, which is within Siknikt of the Mi'kma'ki, the unceded territory of the Mi'kmaq People. Named “A Rad Woman of Canadian Poetry”, Kayla was Moncton’s first Anglophone Poet Laureate. With her friend Elizabeth Blanchard, she co-edited Cadence Voix Feminines Female Voices, a multilingual poetry anthology, and co-created the website Poésie Moncton Poetry with Francophone poet Jean-Philippe Raiche. An award-winning writer, her book That Light Feeling Under Your Feet was a finalist for two poetry awards. Her writing has been published internationally and she has performed with accomplished east coast musicians, including the NB Youth Orchestra. She likes to create with artists and has been a featured poet in the Atlantic Vernarcular and AV Fundy projects where she collaborated with visual artist Renata Britez. Kayla hosts Attic Owl Reading Series and works as a writing consultant. In 2021, she received a Top 20 Under 40 Award from the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce for her entrepreneurial success and outstanding dedication to the literary arts.
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: Forough Farrokhzad, Anne Simpson, Layli long Soldier, Kim Hyseoon, Safia Elhillo, Kathy Jentil-Kijiner, Jake Skeets, Alden Nowlan, Margo Wheaton.
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, in any language, 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