Ann Elizabeth Carson, poet, writer, artist, feminist and psychotherapist, was selected as one of Toronto’s Mille Femme at the 2008 Luminato Festival which paid tribute to women who have made a contribution to the arts. Her latest book, The Risks of Remembrance, distills a life’s experience in poetry and visual images.
Born in 1929 in Toronto, Ann began writing and publishing in high school, continued during her undergraduate university years and while raising a family. 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 began to explore art with Regine Kurek at the Arscura Art School, and discovered the joy of working in clay, as well as in paint and in black and white drawing. She expanded her private psychotherapy practice to include various forms of expressive therapies — a happy convergence of artistic and therapeutic worlds that continues today.
Published works are:
The Risks of Remembrance, new poems, illustrated with photographs of Ann’s sculptures and with paintings by Jane Burns (Words Indeed Publishing, 2010).
My Grandmother’s Hair, a story of how we are shaped by family and social contexts in prose, author’s poetry and photographs of Ann’s drawings, paintings and sculptures (Edgar Kent, 2007, Dundurn, 2010).
Shadows Light, a collection of early and new poems illustrated with colour photographs of Ann’s sculptures (Longboat Alliance, 2005).
Carson is challenging the stereotypes of old age in We All Become Stories: Make Yours a Good One, twelve profiles of older people highlighting the extraordinary changes they made that enabled them to find a satisfying place in societies that seldom welcome or respect old age.
Selections and Reviews:
Selections and reviews of Ann’s books have appeared from Maine to Manitoulin Island and Vancouver, most recently in:
Verse Afire, A Tri-Annual Publication of The Ontario Poetry Society, review of The Risks of Remembrance by Rosemary Clewes (Fall 2011).
Spirit Eyes and Fireflies, The Ontario Poetry Society 2011 Member Anthology.
Cyclamens and Swords, April 2011, October 2011.
Manitoulin Morsels: The Many Tastes of Manitoulin, 2011.
Forthcoming in 2012, Canadian Woman Studies/les cahiers de la femme, review of The Risks of Remembrance by Norma Lundberg.
Popular on the reading circuit, Ann’s interactive readings are collaborative events with other poets, writers, and artists – as in Salon 3×3, 3 poets and 3 painters riffing on each others work, and with dancers and musicians — Poetry and Dance at the Pia Bouman Studio for Ballet and Creative Movement. Ann also leads a variety of workshops that explore how the arts can create a new perspective on how we see ourselves and our world.
Ann is a member of the Heliconian Club for women living in the arts, in the Literature and Humanities sections, where she is currently working on two projects: the Writer in Residence program and the Chapbook Project featuring work from past and present club writers. She is also a member of Old Town ARTbeat, The Ontario Poetry Society, The League of Canadian Poets and the Tower Poetry Society.
At 83 Ann Elizabeth Carson writes, sculpts, and paints full time in Toronto and on Manitoulin Island. She enjoys music, theatre, her garden, the company of her three children, six grandchildren and a lively circle of extended family and friends.