About the BellaOnline Poetry Editor
Karena Andrusyshyn

I am American Canadian and I read my first book of poems when I was three. It was a book of children’s poems by Robert Louis Stevenson, called A Child’s Garden of Verses, and I memorized most, or all, of them as I read them so many times. I still remember “The Swing”. I owned about twenty “Little Golden Books” and this book, which was my biggest book. I started writing poetry, well verse, as soon as I could learn to print, and I still remember a few of those. Poetry became part of my life and by age thirty or so I was writing pretty good poetry. I learned from all the many poets I read.

The first poet I remember reading, besides Stevenson,was Robert Frost. I did not understand all the nuances, but the poetry touched me some where deeply, as did Carl Sandberg, Joyce Kilmer, Edgar Allen Poe and many other visual poets. I am still adding to the list of poets I love. I married at age 30 and John and I had two children, Larissa and Nikolai. We moved to Canada in order to get treatment for for his Malignant Melanoma in 1988, as he was Canadian. He died in Montreal late the next year, and the children and I stayed as dual citizens. I love both these countries for different reasons. I struggled to get a university education and finally got my first degree at age 47, a degree in English Creative Writing from Concordia University in Montreal. I have added a couple more, but the years of reading and writing are what bring me here.

Larissa, is about to publish her second book of poetry with a brick and mortar publisher this fall. I have a couple of writing books on Amazon, and I plan a whole slew more, some poetry and some textbooks for ESL/EFL. I taught in China and Hong Kong for some years and the books we used were not good. I am also involved in creating educational software with a small team. I have a small pension, since I could not take the politics of most schools, and I became a senior technical writer in industry, mostly software, working on contract. So I still work as a writer, but I plan to quit the day after I am dead.

Poetry is my first love and I want to share it here. I currently live in Gatineau, Quebec, just across the river from Ottawa, about an hour north of the US border. I love to write (it´s a disease I am sure) and share, and as editor I have a good excuse to reread all my favorite poets and look for more newer ones. Together we can explore poetry completely.

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