Lara is the author of two collections of poetry, The Cartographer’s Skin (Piquant Press) and Tourist (Tightrope Books), and was longlisted in The Montreal International Poetry Prize Anthology and Best Canadian Poetry. Her poetry has appeared in prominent Canadian and American literary journals and, after the school shootings in Florida, her poem, The New School, on Rattle’s Poets Respond went viral. She has featured at TEDx (Passion and Poetry) and, in 2012, at the Hot Docs International Documentary Challenge, ‘Crowd The Schoolhouse,’ a short documentary set to her poetry (and narrated by Lara), won for Best Writing. In both 2014 and 2015 she was named Toronto’s Best Poet by NOW Magazine.
As a spoken word poet, Lara has performed at literary festivals and venues across North America, in Singapore, and in Ireland. She has represented Toronto at the Individual World Poetry Slam, Women of the World Poetry Slam and, as a member of the Toronto Poetry Slam Team, at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word.
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.