Town of Sackville appoints Lerch as new poet laureate

Tribune-Post Staff
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Marilyn Lerch, shown above speaking at a meeting in Sackville earlier this year on shale gas developmen, has been named Sackville's poet laureate.

SACKVILLE, N.B. – The Town of Sackville has announced the forthcoming appointment of Marilyn Lerch as Sackville’s poet laureate, beginning Jan. 1, 2014, with her first official appearance at the Mayor’s New Year’s levee at the Sackville Town Hall.

Born in 1936 in East Chicago, Indiana, Lerch holds degrees from Indiana University and

the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. She taught high school English in Gary, Indiana, and Washington, D.C. Lerch has worked in many coalitions for gay rights, and peace with justice.

In 1996, Lerch moved to Sackville, and before long, had formed the Sackville Writers' Group and the Roving Poets. She has taught creative writing at Westmorland, Springhill and Dorchester prisons, and is teaching memoir writing through the Tantramar Seniors College.

Lerch is a member of the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick and served as their president from 2006 to 2010.

Lerch has four poetry publications: Lambs & Llamas, Ewes & Me, 2001, Moon Loves Its Light, 2004, Witness and Resist, 2008, and The Physics of Allowable Sway, 2013. She also co-edited Breaking the Word Barrier: Stories of Adults Learning to Read, 2009.

Also in her repertoire are collaborations with Canadian composers Alasdair MacLean, W. L. Altman, Nicholas Piper and Lloyd Burritt. 

Beginning in 2011, Lerch and Burritt have premiered four works at the Vancouver International Song Institute.

Sackville’s first poet laureate was the late Douglas Lochhead. Lochhead s’ poetry was celebrated in the Poetry on Poles project along Main Street, and he gifted a series of poems to the town to publish That Place Called Tantramar.

Councillor Margaret Tusz-King, who proposed the search for a poet laureate, says, "We are delighted that Marilyn Lerch has accepted the town's invitation to be Sackville’s Poet Laureate. Sackville is recognized nationally as a cultural community and the Poet Laureate is a position that we hope will continue to enrich Sackville for years to come.”

Lerch will serve a three-year term from 2014 to 2016.

Organizations: Tantramar Seniors College, Sackville Town Hall, Indiana University Institute of Transpersonal Psychology Federation of New Brunswick Vancouver International Song Institute

Geographic location: East Chicago, Indiana, Gary, Indiana

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