the author

Mary Lou Soutar-Hynes is a Jamaican-Canadian, poet/educator and former nun. A Fellow at Scotland’s Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers in Fall 2009, her literary publications include the collections: Any Waking Morning (2019), Inanna Publications; Dark Water Songs (2013), Inanna Publications; Travelling Light (2006), long-listed for the 2007 ReLit Poetry Award, and The Fires of Naming (2001), both published by Seraphim Editions.

An alumna of the Banff Writing Studio Program (1998), she is a long-standing member of the Long Dash group of poets and a founding member of the collaborative ekphrastic project between the Long Dash group and studio artists from the Women's Art Association of Canada. She belongs to the League of Canadian Poets, The Writers' Union of Canada, The Women's Art Association of Canada, and The Ontario College of Teachers (OCT).

Her work has appeared in journals in Canada and the UK, including Vallum, The Maynard, Poetry Wales, Quills, The Toronto Quarterly, Arc and Canadian Woman Studies/les cahiers de la femme. Her poetry and essays have been published in anthologies and as chapters in edited books, including:

Poetic Inquiries of Reflection and Renewal, Poetry as Research (2017) Eds. Lynne Butler-Kisber, John J. Guiney-Yallop, Mary Stewart, Sean Wiebe. JMacintyre and Purcell Publisning Inc.
Poetic Inquiry II - Seeing, Caring, Understanding, Using Poetry as and for Inquiry (2016)
Eds. Kathleen T. Galvin and Monica Prendergast. Sense Publishers.
Poet to Poet Anthology (2012) Eds. Julie Roorda and Elana Wolff. Guernica Editions.
Jubilation! Poems Celebrating 50 Years of Jamaican Independence (2012) Ed. Kwame Dawes. Peepal Tree Press.
The Art of Poetic Inquiry (2012) Eds. Suzanne Thomas, Ardra L. Cole, and Sheila Stewart. Backalong Books.
Jamaica in the Canadian Experience: A Multiculturalizing Presence (2012) Eds. Carl E. James & Andrea Davis, Fernwood Publishing.
Resonance: Poetry and Art (2008) Poetry by members of the Long Dash Group and Art by Studio Members of the Women’s Art Association of Canada. Sixth Floor Press.
Garden Variety, An anthology of flower poems (2007) Ed. Lily Contento. Quattro Books.
Calling Cards, New Poetry from Caribbean/Canadian Women (2005) Sandberry Press.

She has featured in public readings in Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, Halifax, Wolfville, Mahone Bay, Antigonish, Charlottetown, St. John, Vancouver and Victoria, as well as Perth, Scotland, and Bournemouth, England. She has extensive leadership experience in education, curriculum/policy development and implementation, and as a speaker/presenter at conferences, workshops and symposia. Retired from the Ontario Ministry of Education, she divides her time between writing and projects in education.
Mary Lou lives in Toronto with her partner, Franco-Ontarian scholar and aspiring Bridge Master, Anne-Marie Caron-Réaume.