About Lara Bozabalian
Lara Bozabalian is a teacher, poet and artist. She is the author of four chapbooks and a bestselling collection of poetry, The Cartographer’s Skin. Her poem ‘Beethoven Walks‘ was recently included in the 2011 Montreal International Poetry Prize Longlist Anthology, and ‘Crowd The Schoolhouse‘ (a short documentary she wrote and narrated for Made In Toronto Productions, based upon her poem of the same name) was a finalist in the 2012 Hot Docs International Documentary Challenge, and won for Best Writing and Best Use of Genre.
She has featured at TEDxIB, Luminato (Yonge Centre for the Performing Arts), FEMCAB, Toronto Harbourfront, Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, Words Aloud Festival and the Kingston Writers Festival. In July 2011, she featured at Lit Up: Singapore Writers Festival. She performs, lectures and collaborates across Canada.
As a member of the Toronto Poetry Slam Team, Lara represented Toronto at the 2009 American National Poetry Slam and the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. She also competed at the 2008 Individual World Poetry Slam and at the 2009 Women of the World Poetry Slam.
As Head of English at a public high school, Lara founded and runs Be Heard, a spoken word festival which brings together national level artists with over 100 young writers from around the region. In 2010, she was a finalist for the YRDSB Teacher of the Year Award. She is also a founding member of Toronto Poetry Project, a collective which curates spoken word events in Toronto (including the 2011 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word), and is dedicated to fostering social change and creative writing opportunities.
How has the writing of poetry affected your life?
(Glenda Jackson, Host; Coburg Poetry Workshop)
The writing of poetry has, quite simply, offered me a better way to live in the world. I deeply, humbly love what poems can do, and I strive to be the highest version of myself in creating them. Through the challenges of articulation, I have become more patient and contemplative with myself and others. I find myself listening much more consciously to the world, and to my experiences, than when I was a younger person. Loving something enough to strive for fluency, and appreciating how long of a road it takes to get there, has probably been the greatest lesson; I am continually amazed at how this relationship grows, falters, renews, strengthens. I am continually amazed that I never walk away. There is something about this process that clears me out, and leaves me open for new experiences. I know that I would not have become the person (or teacher) that I am, without a heart that beats for poetry.