Jennifer Houle began publishing in Canadian literary journals in 2005, and is the author of two award-winning poetry collections, The Back Channels and Virga (Signature Editions). Her first children’s book, Un Logis Pour Molly/A Home for Molly was published simultaneously in French and English by Éditions Bouton d’Or Acadie in June 2022.
In 2017, The Back Channels won the J.M. Abraham East Coast Literary Award for best collection of poetry and was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. In 2020, Virga received the Fiddlehead Poetry Prize from the New Brunswick Book Awards.
A life-long Maritimer, she lives in Hanwell, NB, where she sits on the board of Word Feast, Fredericton’s Literary Festival and is actively involved in the arts community.
I am of Gaul. Of Sicily and chestnut trees, of outside Montreal.
I am of the left-field, a curveball, changing all who held me
bawling, blessed. Fell from the stars. Maybe. My six sisters weep
in autumn from the shoulder of the bull, trailed by Aldebaran,
urging me home to reignite a darkened star with gaslight. God.
I am of Acadie, a sinking island, Massachusetts, old green deities
and candles to call love back from beyond. I am of the haunted
willows, pewter rings and pentagrams, a mourner of the drowned,
a keeper of arnica root in what is Danvers now. I am of County Donegal.
And I am of the sand upon this sickly shore. I am of the factory slum,
of festivals and feast days, cigarettes and scholarships, ways out.
I am of the forest people, of the shining birches, narrow paths
in autumn, of the patted, patched folkloric, of the fairies, oak and ash,
cluster of hamadryads, of lured, drawn Arianrhod—dashed.