I'm Kyeren Regehr,
a poet, writer, creative editor & writing mentor.
Kyeren Regehr is the author of Cult Life (Pedlar Press, 2020), shortlisted for the 2021 ReLit Awards and the Victoria Butler Book Prize, and Disassembling A Dancer, winner of the Raven Chapbooks contest. She worked as marking/editing co-ordinator in the Department of Writing at The University of Victoria, and spent several years on the poetry board of Canada's iconic literary periodical, The Malahat Review. Kyeren has twice received writing grants from Canada Council for the Arts, and her poetry has been thrice longlisted for the CBC Literary Awards. She has also had work published in anthologies and periodicals in Canada, Australia, and the U.S.A. Kyeren lives with gratitude on the lək̓ʷəŋən Traditional Territory, where she works as a creative editor/mentor, homeschools her teenage daughter, and writes poetry that traverses genre-borders.
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SLIGHTLY MORE PERSONAL BIOGRAPHY:
Although I was born and raised in Australia, I grew up as a writer in Canada. My primary influences are poets: Dione Brand, John Thomspon, Tim Lilburn, Anne Simpson and Patrick Lane, to name a small few. I enjoy being challenged and expanded by the work of writers from around the world, but the (mostly) Canadian poets I absorbed during my university years largely shaped my internal poetic landscape. I'm deeply grateful to Canadian poetry.
Writing is a way that I can process my inner world, or respond to the outer world. If you've read Cult Life, you may have noticed that it's largely memoir, and I do see much of my work as a record of my life. But I also use writing as a way to explore art and nature, myth and spirituality, and my relationship to these things. It seems to me that poetry is a blueprint of the consciousness, or a distillation of human thinking and experience at any given time in history. And nowadays, with the planet in crisis, and social media eating up large portions of our lives, it feels more important than ever to write--writers (and may I say poets, in particular) are the record keepers, visionaries, radicals, close and careful watchers of the natural world, and of the human world... I think all artists are, but I like talking about poets and writers.
In Disassembling A Dancer, I dive into the dark side of the ballet world, the body as art, and art as identity. But at its heart, this small book is a story; a story in poetry, prose, self-reflexive monologue and dialogue. It might also be seen as fictionalized memoir. (I seem not to be able to write in only one genre.) While I find a sense of release and much needed mental reconfiguration in anti-narrative forms like ghazals, I'm probably a story-teller before anything else, and thus my projects are usually narrative. I've been working on a story-based project about the Arthurian legends for some time, and another more personal quasi-narrative collection about motherhood and spirituality.