Susan McCaslin of Fort Langley is Faculty Emeritus of Douglas College in New Westminster where she taught English and Creative Writing for twenty-three years.

A prolific poet, her books include Demeter Goes Skydiving (University of Alberta Press, 2011), which received the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award in Alberta in 2012 and was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and The Disarmed Heart (The St. Thomas Poetry Series, 2014) featuring poems on the roots of violence and of peace making. "I wish to thank my husband Mark Haddock, who inspired me to unite contemplation anad action in our joint, successful effort to help save an endangered rainforest (now the Thomas Blaauw Ecological Research Area) near our rural home in Langley, British Columbia. Without the example of his environmental activism for thirty-five years, I might not have leaped into the fray." She also acknowledges the support of her memoir group: Kate Braid, Joy Kogawa, Heidi Greco, Elsie K. Neufeld and Marlene Schiwy.

In 2011, McCaslin published a book of essays prefaced by short poems entitled Arousing the Spirit (Wood Lake Publishing). She has edited two poetry anthologies on the relation between poetry and spirituality, A Matter of Spirit (Ekstasis Editions, 1998), and Poetry and Spiritual Peace: Selections from Contemporary Canadian Poets (The St. Thomas Poetry Series, 2002), as well as written numerous essays and a children's book.

She initiated the Han Shan Poetry Project to help protect an endangered rainforest along the Fraser River.

In 2014, Susan McCaslin released Into the Mystic: My Years with Olga, described as a spiritual memoir in poetic prose. It focuses on McCaslin's spiritual mentor, Olga Park (1891-1985), who self-published several titles about direct mystical experiences "grounded in and moving out from the Christian tradition with which she was most familiar." McCaslin's text provides much of Park's life story, mixed with her own, through a series of vignettes and poems written by the author and by Park. It includes illustrations of Park's spiritually-inspired artistic creations and it "explores the relation of the female spiritual seeker to her wisdom teacher, guru, and spiritual mentor, and addresses timeless questions about the relation of time to eternity, the nature and emergence of consciousness, direct mystical experience etc. in a contemporary Canadian context."

Inspired by a journey she made to Aix-en-Provence in 2013, Susan McCaslin's suite of poems about the life and work of the post-impressionist painter Paul Cezanne, Painter, Poet, Mountain (Quattro 2016), praises and celebrates the artist with contemplative and playful short poems that also illuminate her life in Fort Langley where the transcendental qualities of his paintings illuminate her own poetic zeal. "The day is coming when a single carrot freshly observed will set off a revolution," he remarked.

Superabundantly Alive: Thomas Merton's Dance with the Feminine (2018) is a multi-genre work that includes dialogue, imaginary letters, poems and reflective essays by two poets.

ARRIVAL IN CANADA: 1969

ARRIVAL IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: same

ANCESTRAL BACKGROUND: Scottish and Irish

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Superabundantly Alive: Thomas Merton's Dance with the Feminine (Wood Lake Publishing, Oct. 2018) co-authored with J.S Porter
Into the Open: New and Selected Poems (Inanna, 2017)$22.95 978-1-77133-465-5
Painter, Poet, Mountain (Quattro 2016) $18 978-1-988254-22-7
Into the Mystic: My Years with Olga (Inanna 2014) 978-177133-188-3 $24.95
The Disarmed Heart (The St. Thomas Poetry Series, 2014)
Arousing the Spirit (Wood Lake 2011)
Demeter Goes Skydiving (The University of Alberta Press 2011) 978-0-88864-551-7 $19.95
Lifting the Stone (Seraphim Editions 2007)
A Plot of Light (Oolichan Books 2004)
At the Mercy Seat (Ronsdale Press 2003)
Common Longing: The Teresa Poems and A Canticle for Mary and Martha (Mellen Poetry Press 2002)
The Altering Eye (Borealis Press 2000)
Into the Open (Golden Eagle Press [self-published] 1999)
Oracular Heart (The Hawthorne Poetry Series, Reference West 1999)
Letters to William Blake (Mother Tongue Press 1997)
Veil-Unveil (The Saint Thomas Poetry Series 1997)
Light Housekeeping (Ekstsis Editions 1997)
Locutions (Ekstasis Edition 1995)
Conversing with Paradise (Golden Eagle Press [self-published] 1986)
The Visions of the Seven Sleepers (The Iona Press 1979)
Kindling (Arion Press [self-published] 1979)
Motions of the Hearts (Arion Press [self-published] 1978)
Pleroma (Arion Press [self-published] 1976)
Perfection is Dynamic (Being Publications 1974)

AWARDS:

Mother Tongue Poetry Contest, *1st place* 1997

First prize winner, Burnaby Writers' Society 2005 Poetry Competition.

Grand prize winner for Presence magazine's [USA] 2006 poetry contest.

First place in the 18th Annual Literary Writes Poetry Competition, Federation of BC Writers, 2006.

[BCBW 2018] "Poetry"