Ask local poet Brenda Leifso what her favourite animal is and she’ll tell you, “The very big and the very small: the elephant and the chickadee.”

Perhaps this helps to explain why her poetry illuminates weighty world issues and ordinary moments with equal precision and power.

Recipient of the Bliss Carmen Award for Poetry, Brenda’s writing has been featured in journals and anthologies across Canada. Her stunning début, Daughters of Men, won widespread acclaim for its unflinching, vivid, and accessible poems. Her second work, Barren the Fury, is a scathing indictment of gender oppression. Ranging over topics like environmental destruction and child labour, the poems in this collection question our responses to underlying power structures.

With an MFA from the University of British Columbia, Brenda also served as Executive Editor of Prism International. A communications expert who has worked with governments, non-profits, literary retreats, start-ups, and individual writers to raise their profiles and to edit their work, she inspires students in every age group with her enthusiasm and warmth.

A mother of three, Brenda currently edits for a global NGO specializing in the rights of women and the working poor and for Hippo Reads. She has lived in many parts of Canada but currently makes her home in Kingston.

Appearing in 33. Writing Poetry: Express Yourself in Experimental Form