#TPQ5: LEAH CALLEN

Sappho

Because this violet-haired bard broke all the rules in ancient patriarchy by inventing her own poetic form, loving freely, and prophesying that in some future time we would remember her – and we do.

Anna Akhmatova

Because she secretly penned anti-Stalinist poetry despite censorship and surveillance by his police state, burned her drafts, and taught other women to memorize her words by heart so her poetry would survive.

Bonnie Parker

Because scribbling feminist ballads on a ratty bank book and submitting them to newspapers when you’re wanted by the law in the dirty thirties is unconventional and badass as hell.

Sophie Scholl

Because she was a university student who co-founded the anti-fascist White Rose movement, resisted the Nazis with anti-war leaflets, and ultimately proved that bullies with blades can never kill courageous words.

Leonard Cohen

Because he was a master of metaphor and music with a heart of holy smoke, and his verse transcends every physical and metaphysical border.


Leah Callen is an emerging poet and dramatist. Her poems can be found in The Malahat Review, Vallum Magazine, Kissing Dynamite, and Barren Magazine where she volunteers as a contributing editor of poetry. Once upon a time, she got her MFA in playwriting on an island in the Pacific. For now, she lives in Vancouver.

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