Just where did Carol Knepper find the love for writing poems about love, peace, spirituality and nature? Read Carol's biography and you will understand the love.
For as long as I can remember, I have always had a passion for the written and spoken word.
This interest was fostered by my mother, who read to me when I was far too young to really comprehend much, but at the same time, in my own infantile way, I learned a great deal. So intense was my love of language that I recall reading my mother's medical books, the telephone directory, and a great deal of a set of Britannica encyclopaedias, all while still in elementary school. Oddly, I did not particularly favour English as a school subject in those days.
By the time I was a student at Saint John High School (in New Brunswick , Canada ), however, I knew that I was most assuredly an "arts" person, without a mathematical bone in my body. Creativity, as evidenced in piano lessons and figure skating, was my forte, and I also enjoyed taking part in school plays. Still, English was not my favourite subject, and my marks, although good, reflected my involvement in musical and athletic endeavours more than a love of academia. I had a passion for piano, drama, and the ice.
So I entered the University of New Brunswick , in Fredericton , having no real idea of what I wanted to do with my life. It was in my sophomore year that inspiration took hold of me, and never let go: I became fascinated with a course in English literature, taught by a Donald Rowan, and that man, whether he realized it or not, became in many ways my mentor. At the start of my junior year, I registered for the honours program in English, with a minor in other languages.
It was in the course "English Romantic Poetry and Prose," taught by Dr. Fred Cogswell, that I first encountered, in any amount of detail, the work of William Blake. I was in awe, transfixed by the poet's brilliance and insight. In my senior year, Blake became the subject of my thesis, a requirement for the honours degree.
Eventually, it came time to decide on a career, and I settled on teaching, beginning at the high school level, where many of the students were almost as old as I was. When I received an offer to teach ninth grade, in the Kennebecasis Valley area outside Saint John , I was delighted to be teaching students who were at least a number of years younger.
I remained in the junior high/middle school classroom, teaching primarily English, for over thirty years. Those years were rewarding in many ways, and upon retirement in 2003, I was asked by several co-workers if I had plans for a second career. My response was, "Are you kidding? I've had to get up and go somewhere every morning since I was five years old. I am just going to relax." I did confide in one good friend from the staff that perhaps I would write a book some day...
And relax I did, basically bored out of my wits, writing the occasional prose piece or letter to the local paper, until I encountered Richard Doiron, the poet with whom I have the honour of sharing this site. He encouraged my prose writing, and eventually convinced me that maybe, just maybe, I could attempt poetry.
My first public reading took place at the 2005 Canadian Poetry Festival, held in Moncton, New Brunswick and I continued with my poetic efforts, having read a few times at Sessions Cafe in Quispamsis, New Brunswick, my hometown. In August 2006, I had the honour of reading at the Chocolate River International Festival, held in Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick. Some of my haiku and tanka have been published by Richard Vallance in Canadian Zen Haiku and by Sondra Ball in Autumn Leaves.
On November 27, my poem "Sunrise In Kandahar" was read on the program Shift on C.B.C. (Canadian Broadcasting) Radio. I also had poetry on display for the month of February 2007 at the World Poetry Fifth Anniversary Celebration, at the Vancouver Public Library in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Carol's work has been published by Richard Vallance in Canadian Zen Haiku, by Bread'n'Molasses, and in the anthology In The Company of Women. She is also an associate editor of Sonnetto Poesia.
Copyright by Carol Knepper 2006-07
Photograph by Richard Vallance