Lara Bozabalian – Life 2.0

About Lara Bozabalian

Lara is the author of two collections of poetry, Canadian bestseller The Cartographer’s Skin (Piquant Press) and Tourist (Tightrope Books). Her poetry has been featured in prominent journals and she has appeared at literary festivals across Canada, in America, Ireland, and Singapore. She has also featured at TEDx (Passion and Poetry), lectured at Queens University, and, in 2012, at the Hot Docs International Documentary Challenge, a short documentary set to her poetry (and narrated by Lara), won for Best Writing and Best Use of Genre.

She is currently working as an arts consultant for several projects, notably Jennifer Long‘s Caesura, which was included in Portraits in COVID Time: Documenting a Nation in Change, at Harbourfront Centre.  Building upon her experiences over the last two years of collaborating with other mothers and documenting her own experiences, Lara will be presenting at York University’s international virtual conference on ‘Lessons From the Pandemic’ on May 6, 2022.

After the school shootings in Parkland, Florida, her poem, The New School, was selected for Rattle’sPoets Respond’ and was one of the popular American poetry journal’s most read and shared poems. Currently the same poem is being featured by Poetry in Voice (Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry) in both its ‘Senior Anthology’ for teachers and students, and ‘Come Together’ a MixTape Anthology edited by Brendan McLeod.

As Department Head of English at a public high school, Lara founded Be Heard: Festival of Student Voices, which paired student writers with internationally renowned spoken word artists. She is also a founding member of Toronto Poetry Project, which produces Toronto Poetry Slam, BAM Youth Slam and writing workshops.

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
acher) that I am, without a heart that beats for poetry.

March 2010


11 thoughts on “About Lara Bozabalian

  1. dave taylor

    Laura — are you involved in high schools at all. I am a teacher in a secondary school and I have kids interested in Slam peotry but do not know where to find anything. Could you help us with any info or contacts??

    They are quite good and should be heard.

  2. laraboz

    Hi Dave,

    I am a Department Head (English) and have been doing educational workshops for teachers and Writers Guilds around Toronto for the last few years. I currently run a board wide spoken word festival for teachers and students in the YRDSB. What area are you teaching in?

  3. Bill Levity

    Hey LAra

    Great work at the festival.
    Please email to stay in touch,
    and dont forget to apply
    Islands Folk Festival

    Cheers, Bill

  4. laraboz

    Hey Bill,

    Thank you! I will definitely stay in touch! I will be featuring at the Vancouver Youth Slam sometime this summer, so I will let you know details asap..!

    Best, Lara

  5. Debra

    Hi Lara; just wanted to say hi. It’s been forever, but stumbled across your site. (in case you don’t recognize the name, our mums are friends and we used to hang out when we were little) Want to congratulate you! Maybe catch one of your slams while I’m in T.O from Berlin for xmas. Dig your poetry.

  6. laraboz


    Of course I remember you!! Wow, it has been decades. Last time I saw you, you showed me your beautiful tatoo..but I can’t even remember where or when (at Christabel’s?). I would love to catch up, over the holidays, but I’m flying out to Ireland on the 21st. Are you back before then? Maybe I’ll be back in Berlin one of these days.. Definitely keep in touch. Thank you so much for kind words.. do you do any writing? What have you been up to, since kindergarten? 🙂

  7. Juliana Krstevska

    Heyy Lara,
    I was a little disappointed that you didn’t perform last night. Your poetry is strikingly beautiful and inspirational. Just want to encourage you to keep writing! I’ll be sure to make it out to your next show in Toronto.

  8. laraboz

    Hi Julie,
    Thanks for that, very kind words to end the evening. I was planning on performing, but there were a lot of people waiting to get on the bill. Next month, for certain. I will be performing at the Art Bar in March, and have a book launch coming up (date tba)… very exciting. I will definitely let you know when that happens, it should be a great night.

    Thanks again, it was great to see you out.
    I’d love to hear some of your new work!


  9. Laura Rubio

    Hi Lara:

    As I said last night at the slam, I wanted to once again congratulate you on your work, from the first time I heard your words they moved me (surprisingly enough one of your poems was exactly the opposite to my “life” yet it shook me strongly). Now after reading more about your bio and your endeavoring in the “poetry project for youth” I am even more awed . I will try and make it on May 20th for the launching of your book. Some lines are drawn in our skins some are more like tint that sips thru our pores, burns and leaves scars, we are all cartographers and cartographers like my mother have painfully taught me that… “lines that burn”!!…

    All the very best,

  10. Searching

    Hi Lara

    I’m are searching for some politicized girl slam poets to invite to perform at an event in Toronto in early October. Please DM me so I can give you the details.

    Thank you!

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