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Susan is...

poet, mother, grandmother, gardener, dancer, hiker, activist. A former professor of environmental studies at the University of Waterloo, she has worked with colleagues in Indonesia, India, other places around the world and in communities across Canada. She walked the Camino Santiago in 2018. She is a Land Steward for a small section of the Bruce Trail, which passes close to her home, and has walked most of the 900km of the Bruce Trail, much of it more than once. 

The pandemic months and years were made much brighter by a collaborative project started in the Fall of 2019 with Passionate Heart Dance. After many hesitations and cancellations, we were able to present live performances of Hand Shadows, a program of dance and poetry in Guelph in November 2021 and March of 2022, and Clarksburg, near Collingwood in May of 2022. Poems written and performed for Hand Shadows were the inspiration for Susan’s book length manuscript, Hag Dances, which will be published by At Bay Press in 2025.

I am...

committed to peace, friendship and respect for the land, its waters, the air that we breathe, for trees and plants, animals, people—all beings. 

Like many Canadians, my ancestors came here seeking refuge. My mother’s family arrived on the east coast from Scotland after the Highland Clearances. My father’s people migrated to the Niagara area from Pennsylvania at the turn of the 19th century and before that, came from Switzerland.


In the spirit of Treaty 18 and of treaties signed all across Canada, I am accountable for the privileges and responsibilities of living here. My home is on Anishinaabe territory, under the stewardship of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation and the Three Fires Confederacy. This territory is also traditional home to Wendat, Haudenosaunee and other Indigenous peoples who have lived here for thousands of years.

I am grateful to live with two human partners and a very large dog on the southern shore of Manidoo-gitchi gami (Georgian Bay) in Ontario. I identify as queer (she/they).

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Photo by: Sarah Pell

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