Author and Poet, Debbie Ouellet


My Newest Projects




It's always exciting to be working on a new project. This page allows me to share some of that excitement with you. Below you'll find information about what I'm working on now. This could be a book manuscript or blog, article or poetry.






Stay tuned for my latest poetry project...editing and illustrating the 2012 Ontario Poetry Society anthology, Ropedancer. With over 150 poems from poets all over Ontario (including 3 of my own) it's certainly a labour of love and I'm honoured to have been chosen as its editor.


Introduction to Ropedancer

It’s been my honour to compile this collection of poetry from 71 of our members. Each poet was asked to submit a minimum of 5 and maximum of 10 of their best poems. Reading through over 400 poems…choosing the best from each poet…sorting them into themes…then looking for connections and threads…placing them on each page. I enjoyed the challenge of each step. The result is a pleasing melting pot of voice, topic, style and form.

It’s interesting how the Ropedancer title sparked these submissions and how each poet interpreted the threads that run throughout the four sections of this anthology. Stepping through nature, and our ties to it, ring true in our section Flights of a Natural World. Ties that bind us, whether through family, love and all ranges of emotion are found in Hearts Strung. Stringed instruments (and stringed things), dance in its many forms and humourous tales round out the section Music, Dance, Laughter (And the threads that bind them). Places and How We Got There is an interesting mix of our ties to places and the modes of transportation that connect us.

From “the wingspan…of one story’s failing hope” to “a great hunger for warm orange…spread over…heavy silence” to “…these moments in the gateless…garden of delicious sound”, and on to “where the earth quietly returns to itself…returns and does not regret.” Our poets explore the vast, some would say limitless, possibilities of expression and connection.

It’s my hope that, for you, stepping through these pages becomes a journey of the best kind…unhurried…stopping to savour small morsels or full meals…resting in a shady spot… dancing through streets or wooded paths…or balancing breathless on a taught rope.

To the many poets of the Ontario Poetry Society, thank you for sharing your words, your musings, your selves with us. As Mary Oliver said, “Poetry isn’t a profession; it’s a way of life. It’s an empty basket; you put your life into it and make something out of that.”

Debbie Ouellet


Chicken Soup for the Soul - O Canada

Check out my short story, The Home Child, in the latest Chicken Soup for the Soul - O Canada edition published in November 2011. It's about my grandfather, Alec Kerr who was one of the over 100,000 orphaned children sent to Canada to work in indentured service in the late 1800's and early 1900's. 


Some previous publications you might want to check out...

Truthseekers: Writing for the Blog, Culture Unplugged

I've had the pleasure in April of 2009 of working with the creators of the blog, Culture Unplugged to put together some articles as part of their inaugural issue of Truthseekers. It was an interesting experience to come out of the 'spiritual closet' and write my thoughts about language and its place in cultural identity. My first article, "The Language of Less" looks at the recent economical upheaval and its impact on the language found in current poetry. Ezra Pound once said, "Poets are the antennae of the race." If you buy into that statement, then there's some hope for us yet. Culture Unplugged launched its Truthseekers edition in mid-April 2009.

I continue to write for Culture Unplugged on a regular basis. See the links below to access my articles.

  • In February 2010, the Canadian Olympic Team entered the Vancouver Olympics never having won a gold medal on home soil. They finished the Winter Olympics with the most gold medals won by any country. Ever. Read my latest post, The Power of Belief.
  • The Act of Kindness is my latest article for Culture Unplugged, published January 2010.
  • Read Oh No, Canada! The Cultural Indentity Crisis published December 31st. As a taxpayer, writer and parent with a daughter in the Ontario Public School system, the state of the educational system as it relates to literature and the arts has always been a concern for me. As our schools teach our children what they need to become contributing members of our society, how much of that information relates to the rich roots in history and the arts that is their homeland?
  • Read Holding On and Crossing Over-The Rituals that Define Us published December 20th. The months of December and January are pivotal times. Ends and beginnings.  Reunions and separations. Remembering and moving on. They are rich in the rituals of family: reunion, storytelling, reaffirmation, returning to your roots. They are times of crossing over: sorting through the tangled strings of our lives, making choices, discarding the unwanted bits, beginning again…
  • "Woman's Right to Choice" discusses the costs paid by women over the years to earn freedom, originally published December 3rd.
  • As part of my Remembrance Day contribution, read "Red Fridays-Lest We Forget" published November 5th.
  • Read "The Stuff of Dreams", published on October 15th.
  • Visit Truthseekers for my latest article "Bearing Witness" posted on July 9th.
  • You can stop by Truthseekers to read "Return of the Spoken Word" posted on June 16th.
  • On April 30th, my second instalment, "The Paradox of Creative Choice" was posted in Truthseekers. 
Keep visiting the Truthseekers site for more thoughtful articles about language and culture.

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