Poet and Writer, Margot Van Sluytman, was born in Guyana, South America. She immigrated to Canada in the late 1960s, completing her studies in Editing from Centennial College and Philosophy from the University of Waterloo and The University of Toronto.She is a Canadian pioneer in the field of poetry and the process of healing, having created workshops and courses focused on how poetry: reading, writing, listening, can play a vital role in dealing with anxiety, grief, and sorrow.
Margot runs her own small press, Palabras Press. Her eZine, www.palabras-press.com attracts visitors from all around the world, and includes a staff of writers from Canada, the US, China, and New Zealand.
She was invited to create a five-segment television proposal on, “Poetry and the Proces of Healing”. Margot is in the process of co-creating, “Dance With Words and Art”, a group of individuals who will soon offer poetry readings on a regular basis starting in Peterborough.
Margot was invited to collaborate with Montreal Artist, Caroline Archambault on the show, “dialogue,” in which Ms Archambault selected eighteen of Margot’s published poems to represent in paint. The show held in Montreal, at Galerie 1040, was a rich success.
Margot has read and spoken to several writing and reading groups and classes, as well as universities and colleges, including Sanford Fleming College, Trent University, and the University of Michigan-Dearborn, about how an individual can access the language she has or needs in order to dance with encounter. In order to create poetry and to learn from poetry.
Her published works include: Feeding Dreams: forty poems; Bleeding Pupils and Beauty: forty-one poems; Alba the Spanish Woman: forty-two poems; and Studying Love.
Studying Love will be launched on Wednesday, February 9th, 2005, at Titles Bookstore in Peterborough, Ontario.
She was short-listed for the Canadian Literary Awards for her work, Pieces From the Same Puzzle, and Pieces From the Same Puzzle Too. Her work has been published in several literary magazines, newspapers, and eZines, across Canada.
She has traveled extensively, most recently living for a year and a half in Venezuela, teaching English and Art, learning Spanish, reading Pablo Neruda close to his home country of Chile, and discovering the work of Spanish poet Antonio Machado, tasting the air and food of Brazil, and returning to Guyana to reconnect with roots, seeking out and finding the graves of her Great Grand Parents, filling her soul with images and sounds which will be birthed in her work of poems, Of Dark Night.
"The greatness of a poem is not that it portrays the thing observed or experienced, but that it portrays the poet's vision cued off by her encounter with the reality." Rollo May
Passion. Focus. Intensity. Encounter.
This is my work.
Communication that resembles the process of birthing a child, children. Volcanic bursting with word, image, form, and formlessness. Blood and water. From soul, via heart, to pen, to mouth. Like digging deeply in mud. The scent of life renewed daily. Reinventing the wheel over and over and over again. No excuses for the work with words. Only sheer joy at its very necessity.
Poetry is created because we are lonely, scared, grateful, joyous, decaying, grieving, angry, visionary, vital. To make sense of life. Our realities. Both harsh and stunning.
I write because I want to belong and because I do not want to belong. Community calls. The Tribe who knows how to fashion with words. Who cares about the meaning of life, who desires frivolity and fierceness. Who knows that like fresh, clean water, poetry exalts life, and saves lives, and honours all that we know and do not know.