Sarah de Leeuw grew up and has spent most of her life in Northern BC, including Haida Gwaii and Terrace. With a Ph.D. in geography, de Leeuw works in a faculty of medicine where she teaches and undertakes research on medical humanities and health inequalities. Her creative and academic work has been widely anthologized and appears in journals from CV2 and PRISM International to the Canadian Geographer and Emotion, Space and Society. She is the winner of the 2013 Dorothy Livesay Award for poetry. She divides her time between Prince George and Kelowna.


Did you read poetry when you were in high school? Is there a particular poem that you loved when you were a teenager?

Yes! It's terrible to say that I was so starved for poetry that I STOLE books of poetry from the local public libraries in the tiny northern towns I grew up in. I was embarrassed to sign out books of poetry and didn't feel comfortable speaking to librarians. Years later my dad was sitting on the Board of Directors for one of the libraries I'd stolen books from - and there was a list of books that were missing. My dad said..."wait! I think we have some of those in my family’s bookshelves!". So, the books all did get returned. And now I encourage EVERYONE to speak to librarians and not steal books!


When did you first start writing poetry? And then when did you start thinking of yourself as a poet?

I was writing poetry in elementary school. It might sound silly to say, but I'm still not sure I consider myself a poet...I still feel like I'm working on becoming a poet. Really.


What do you think a poet’s “job” is?

To write the world, to remake the world, to be in and of the world, to love poetry as a world.

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