Marilyn Lerch in Parrsboro

Marilyn Lerch is an American-born Canadian poet, teacher, and activist.  You can meet Marilyn, hear her poetry, and get your books signed at Main & Station’s Nonesuch Café on Friday, 29 November, 2019 beginning at 7pm.

Marilyn Lerch Author Photo


Born in 1936 in East Chicago, Indiana, she is the author of five volumes of poetry, served as Sackville Poet Laureate from 2014 through 2018, and was president of the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick from 2006 to 2010.


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that_we_have_lived_at_all_cover_2x“Marilyn Lerch defines insight, perception. She moves through the world, feet sensing ground, eyes witnessing all, and then finding what is endless reward, i.e. the proverb: “life not to be questioned, but borne”; “mortality the hardest truth to live with”…. In every line, a haiku lurks; in every poem, there’s radical instruction: “refuse any form of slavery … /perform acts that feel right and lovely in themselves, /create profound, poignant, terrifyingly beautiful art….” With the “moon my essential companion” and “coming to serenity in the flow” of tides and light and love, Lerch is as sensitive as Dylan Thomas, but as clear-eyed as Elizabeth Bishop. A trustworthy inner voice cupped gently by paper.”

–George Elliott Clarke
7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2016-17)

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Marilyn has degrees from Indiana University and the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, and taught high school English in Washington, D.C., from 1967 to 1995. She has long been active in cultural movements devoted to social justice and environmental protection. She helps to facilitate PFLAG (Sackville–Amherst Chapter) and is a member of the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Coalition.

Since moving to Sackville, NB in 1996 Marilyn has also formed the Sackville Screen Shot 2019-11-05 at 9.46.30 AMWriters’ Group and the Roving Poets; taught creative writing at Westmorland, Springhill and Dorchester prisons; played an instrumental role in organizing Sackville’s annual Poetry Month events; offered several workshops in Tantramar schools; hosted Poetry Reading events throughout the Town; written and read many original works at Sackville events; and is teaching Memoir with the Tantramar Senior College.  She lives with her partner Janet.

To learn more about Marilyn Lerch and read or hear some of her poems, see here  and here and here


Lambs & Llamas, Ewes & Me (2001)
Moon Loves Its Light (2004)
Witness and Resist (2008)
The Physics of Allowable Sway (2013)                                                                                That We Have Lived at All (2018)

Making a Difference, Toute la difference: A Celebration of the 3M Teaching Fellowship (Editor, 2005)
Breaking the Word Barrier: Stories of Adults Learning to Read (Co-editor, 2009)

Musical Settings of her Poetry
We Move Homeward (Alasdair MacLean, 1998)
The Whole is Enough to Drive You Crazy (W.L. Altman, 2002)
We Move Homeward (Lloyd Burritt, 2011)
Moon Loves Its Light (Lloyd Burritt, 2011)
Triptych (Lloyd Burritt: Canadian premiere, 2013; American premiere, 2014)
Trees on the Edge (Nicholas Piper, 2014)


Poetry Night with Richard Dittami

On Tuesday, September 6 at 8pm come out for Poetry at the PO with featured poet Richard Dittami.


Retired from the Laborers International Union, Richard Dittami is a poet from Massachusetts who first came to Nova Scotia on a walkabout in 2003 and has been back every year since.

Richard writes constantly and has done so for many a year.  He has read at various venues in both Massachusetts and Nova Scotia.

Xmas 2011
Mid morning
Churches dot the country side
Shouldering with Jesus fumes like stubbed out cigarettes.
Wrapping paper is torn and crumpled
Feasts split open like overripe fruit.
High tide of Xmas.
The collective psyche returns
like schooling fish to open water…

Hopewell Rocks

The reddish cliffs of the Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick offer another spectacular landscape in which to experience Fundy’s tides.


Hopewell Rocks


I left my footprints on the ocean floor,

Knowing they would be no more

When Fundy’s tide has swept them clean.

No trace that I have been

Standing in the mud and sand

Gazing at this Wonderland

Of sculpted rocks and fissures deep,

Where rushing waters come and sweep

With relentless force of spray

All the yesterdays away.

I wondered then, “Who came before?”

How many other footprints on the ocean floor?


Or was there once an upward thrust

When ocean floor turned into mountain crust.


Did dinosaurs then in murderous play,

Leave their victims in the clay?

Again perhaps, more recently

When land was covered by invading sea,

A fish swam slowly down to rest

On self-same spot my foot will press,

And musing thus, it came to me

That we are children of the sea.

Twas long before the age of man;

A creature left the ocean floor

To make its home on solid shore,

But locked within its memory

Was its bondage to the sea.


That sea comes crashing over sand and stone

Claiming what it calls its own.

I left my footprints on the ocean floor

Knowing they would be no more

When Fundy’s tide has swept them clean.


By: Elizabeth D’Ambrosio 2012

(Published previously in: Twigs & Leaves. Volume V. 2012, Broken Rules Press)

Elizabeth D'AmbrosioElizabeth D’Ambrosio was born in Germany in 1920 and immigrated to Canada as a child. A member of the Greenwood Poets since 2009, she regales her audiences with humorous poems as well as those that move the spirit and strike at heartstrings. Elizabeth is an avid speechwriter, bridge player, traveller, and painter. Her editorials and poetry have been published in the Montreal Gazette, on CBC, on the poetry website , and in several chapbooks, namely, “Passages,” published by the Greenwood Centre for Living History, “Twigs & Leaves” published by Broken Rules Press, and Memories, a self-publication.