Biography

Ann Elizabeth Carson.

The experience of how many women lived in the 20th century comes to life in Ann Elizabeth’s latest book, Laundry Lines: Stories and Poems (Inanna Publications, October 2015). As she looks back on the long laundry line of her life strung with memories, Ann dares to voice family secrets and cultural taboos. In a rare combination of visceral, sensuous prose and poetry, Laundry Lines explores stories of betrayal, deep loss and enduring love that shaped Ann’s life, why they are important to her now, how they relate to the lives of women and men and to the global issues of today.

ANN ELIZABETH CARSON, BA (Hons.) U of T ’51, M.Ed U of T ’70, Arscura School of Art (Toronto) ’85 — poet, writer, sculptor, feminist and one of ‘Toronto’s Mille Femmes’ (2008 Luminato Festival) which paid tribute to women who have made a contribution to the arts. ANN ELIZABETH has devoted her career to understanding the silenced voices in our society, and to attempting to give them voices through her work. She is fascinated by the intersection of word with sound, visual images and movement and delighted to be working across artistic boundaries with writers, musicians, painters and dancers.

Born in 1929 in Toronto, Ann began writing and publishing in high school, continued during her undergraduate university years and while raising a family of four children. In 1970, she earned a Master’s in Adult Education and Counselling at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and worked for many years as a counsellor, supervisor and instructor at York University.

In 1988, Ann explored art as a therapeutic discipline in a two-year course at Arscura Art School: a happy convergence of artistic and therapeutic worlds as images in colour, clay and movement infused poetry, story and expressive therapies.

A long-time summer resident on Manitoulin Island, Ann Elizabeth continues to write, sculpt and read from her work in Toronto and on Manitoulin Island.

Popular on the reading circuit, Ann especially enjoys collaborating with other poets, writers, and artists, and with dancers and musicians in interactive multimedia events — spoken word accompanied by paintings, sculptures and music.

Ann leads a variety of workshops such as Expressions of Memoir, What’s the Difference: Exploring Poetry and Poetic Prose, and Solutions in Your Hands: how the arts can create a new perspective on how we see ourselves and our world, which Margo Little of the Manitoulin Expositor found “opens up new approaches not only to our work, but also how we problem solve professionally and in our personal lives.”

Ann Elizabeth Carson is a member of the League of Canadian Poets, the Ontario Poetry Society, the Manitoulin Writer’s Circle, the Tower Poetry Society, the Canadian Authors Association, the Older Women’s Network and the Toronto Heliconian Club for professional women in the arts in the Literature and Humanities sections.

She enjoys music, theatre, gardening, gallery hopping, bookstore browsing and the company of her three surviving children, six grandchildren, a great granddaughter and a wide circle of extended family and friends.

Anthologies:

  • Scarlet Thistles, A Canadian Anthology of Poetry, ed. Fran Figge, Ontario Poetry Society, 2014.
  • Canadian Crossroads: Prose and Poetry Inspired by the War of 1812, ed. Margo Little, Manitoulin Writer’s Circle, 2013.
  • 20 Years: Treasury of Canadian Verse, Poetry Institute of Canada, Victoria, B.C., 2013.
  • Lemon Tradewinds, A Canadian Anthology of Poetry, ed. John M. Hastings, Ontario Poetry Society, 2013.
  • Living With Our Lakes, ed. Roger Nash, Preface by Margaret Atwood, Your Scrivener Press, 2012
  • Fire and Light, Anthology of Verse, Poetry Institute of Canada, Victoria, B.C., 2011.
  • Spirit Eyes and Fireflies, 2011 Member Anthology, Ontario Poetry Society, ed. Kate Marshall Flaherty, 2011.
  • Manitoulin Morsels, Manitoulin Writer’s Circle, ed. Margo Little, 2011.
  • Cross Pollination Two, A Tour Through Time, Manitoulin Writer’s Circle, 2010.
  • Celebrating Poets over 70, ed. Marianne Forsyth Vespry and Ellen B. Ryan, McMaster University, 2010.
  • Island Mists, An Anthology of Verse, Poetry Institute of Canada, Victoria, B.C., 2010.
  • “Celebrating the Wonder of Word and Art,” The Exile Literary Quarterly, Excelsior Publishing, 2010. 

Selections and reviews of Ann’s books have appeared from Maine to Manitoulin Island and Vancouver, most recently in Herizons magazine (2008), Canadian Woman Studies/les cahier de la femme (2008/09), Celebrating Poets over 70, McMaster University Centre for Gerontological Studies and the Tower Poetry Society (2010) and Monhegan Memo #6 (2010).