Sadiqa de Meijer’s introduction to poetry can be attributed to her mother – a woman who marked anniversaries, birthdays, ice storms, and even haircuts with verses. “My earliest sense of poetry as a medium was that it was for everyone and involved pleasure and skill – which is an uncommon introduction, I think, and probably made a difference,” she says.
Sadiqa’s poetry has appeared in a number of literary journals including Poetry Magazine, as well as in the anthologies Best of Canadian Poetry in English and Villanelles. She won the CBC Canada Writes Poetry Prize for “Great Aunt Unmarried,” a poem based on a close family friend who died at 93, and her debut poetry collection Leaving Howe Island was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for English-language poetry.
Her most recent poetry collection, The Outer Wards, explores questions of maternal love and duty—and the powerlessness that comes with the disruption of that role through illness, and was praised by Michael Crummey for “a voice of authority and grace.” She is also the author of alfabet / alphabet: a Memoir of a First Language which reflects on her transition from speaking Dutch to English. In a series of “lucid, penetrating meditations on language, loss, and identity” – Susan Olding, Sadiqa questions identity, landscape, family, and translation.
Born in the Netherlands, she currently lives in Kingston, Ontario, where she serves as the city’s poet laureate.
Appearing in 24. Musical Matinee: The Gertrudes