Leah is a Canadian teacher and author of poetry, prose and philosophy. Her poetry is noted for its technical precision and insightful sensitivity around mental health, depression, relationships, inspired by an inherent creative and intellectual curiosity. With a distancing from the lyric ‘I’ as subject and object of attention, Leah creates a contextual flow of issues and abstractions themed around existential despair, holistic health and an empowered voice.
the journey begins
Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Leah’s journey moved forward, with her family, living in various locations across Canada. This eventually brought them to the Toronto area where she has lived for many years.
Leah attended the University of Toronto and Brock University. Her undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of education, psychology, sociology and philosophy focused on the idea of radical empathy and self-esteem development. Leah’s current writing expands on her research in these areas and the ethnographic analysis of the rapid change in the milieu of our global communities. Essential to her writing, particularly in the prose and poetry, are her personal experiences and philosophies of life and mind.
challenges ironically inspire gifts to share
Life with its challenges and obstacles has been balanced by the extraordinary of sharing of joy with her beautiful, competent daughter, Alex.
Travel, music, running, yoga, meditation and nature further balance the writing life. Trail walking has been a powerful attribute to this unearthing of her essential, inherent self — just breathing, listening, feeling and being with all of the senses engaged is mindfully transformative.
Holistically, this is about forgiveness and reconciliation with self as the the essential first step in fully engaging in life. It’s about writing history by recognizing yourself as an integral part and bringing an active voice to the process.
the writing seeds
After falling into the vortex of severe depression and hospital care, years of treatment and soul-searching led Leah to nest in the world of writing. This turned out to be just the tool or seed she needed to grow the voice and identity she had lost early in her journey into life.
The process writing through of mental health recovery led to intuitive and insightful theme-based writing. Writing, researching, art, nature and meditation were essential attributes on subsequent path of recover and personal growth. Leah is creatively inspired through poetry and mindfully grounded in her philosophy of life and mind.
living through writing
A conversational flow brings in themes of holistic health, philosophy, psychology and spirituality, to Leah’s writing. This is an open-ended, open-minded journey of personal experiences, acceptance, reflection and transformation. The following are foundational contexts, abstractions and issues included in most of her writing.
1 ~ creative, intentional, giving attitude: ‘paying it forward’
2 ~ conscious, researched, reasoned set of core values/world views
3 ~ solid, authentic identity-narrative with a freedom to resist
4 ~ empowering empathy with a passionate, open, vulnerable sensibility
5 ~ holistic balancing of the matrix
Poetry and philosophy are the lifeboats, fortitude and inherent elements of Leah’s existence. Writing built on creative thinking enables alternate solutions to issues faced in everyday life–set patterns are disrupted, enlivening the celebration of our unique and colourful world.
While the distinction between verse and prose is clear, the distinction between poetry and prose is obscure. ~ T. S. Eliot
brand and style of writing
Leah’s writing is an integration of life onto the page. All of her work incorporates language of poetry, prose and philosophy in different shapes depending on the context and her frame of mind. In reference to a poetry form, then free verse would be the best general classification of Leah’s writing style. It is a literary mode which enhances the more prosaic rhythms of speech and narrative. Her brand, somewhere in between rhythmic poetry and prose, is a hybrid of a literary influences including those shared in the Portfolio Poetry Styles Post.
vision and aspirations as a writer
After years of full-time teaching, helping students to embrace learning, Leah has turned her attention and dedications towards a full-time writing career. Supporting other writers, promoting, editing and reviewing are important parts of Leah’s work.
Literary journals are important to Leah’s growth as a writer. She is most inspired by those which embrace the qualities of imagery tied to a worldly exactitude, subtlety of abstraction, point of view and issues, enjambment with high level of metaphorical language, a depth of semantic ambiguity, and a voice that collaborates with the word of other writers who have previously shared.
Currently, Leah is writing a book representative of her research and personal exploration on life. Her writing appeals to the reader’s senses by tapping into the intricacies of a perplexing life: the universal, dynamic and unique. With that, she clothes the potentially mundane with her own unique images, visuals, descriptive language and sensory details. This project will reflects her philosophy of life and mind through a collection of essays, prose and poetry.
The Vagabond: The Art of Being Authentic
the soul journey of the vagabond
The path of the vagabond is a soulful, inspired, honestly radical journey. It’s about holistic health and authentic, passionate personal growth. We can choose to live in the spirit of truth. This is a truth in which Leah finds heals, challenges and awakens her genuine voice, a passionate energy and genuine connections.
As Bob Marley’s writes: “emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
As the character of her own narrative, Leah has embarked on a journey of radical, personal growth–essential to bring about a meaningful system of belief and existence. Never quite arriving, the process is inherently transformative: mind, body, heart, soul and spirit.
he who binds to himself
a joy, doth the winged life destroy
but he who kisses the joy as it flies by
lives in eternity’s sunrise
~ William Blake
🕊 embracing mindful, empowering transformations🕊
© Leah J. Spence, M.Ed., 2019, All Rights Reserved