Atlantic Highlands Arts Council presents Poetry Reading by Wendy Jean MacLean


originally published: 08/08/2022

(ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ) — Hello poetry lovers and literary friends! Join Atlantic Highlands Arts Council on Tuesday August 9 at 7:00 p.m. to launch a new series of readings in their gallery space. Treat yourself to an evening of poetry as we celebrate the important relationship between the visual arts and the written word. Guest is award-winning poet Wendy Jean MacLean who will read an excerpt from her recently published book, On little wings.

Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP here. The Atlantic Highlands Arts Council is located at 54 First Avenue in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey.

Cosmic and intimate, gritty and soft: From the first moments of creation to the painful losses of dementia, the poems in Wendy’s book tap into nature’s endless promises of birth, death and change. From complicated ancestry to the simple joy of a rainy morning, these poems invite the reader to ponder the mysteries and beauty of eternity, every day. Wendy’s poetry springs from an extraordinary depth of vision, honed over her years of service to a wide range of seeking souls. Her ear listens to the joys and sufferings of being alive, which she hears just as well as the slapping of the tides and the beating of the tits’ wings.

Poetry is her first language, the forge where she transposes mute feeling into words that capture the small and monumental movements of the human heart. Nature’s ageless rhythms and small miracles are taken into account and integrated seamlessly into the elemental images of daily experience.

Wendy Jean MacLean’s daily life is lined with numinous light.

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His award-winning poetry explores the untold stories of ordinary objects like buttons and stones, and our deepest humanity. Her work is shaped by a lifelong engagement with mythology, gospel and literature. Posted in Crosswinds, Gathering, Green Spirit, Ancient Paths, CASA, Boosey and Hawkes, GIA, Streetlight, Arborealis. Sheila-na-Gig, Collegeville Bearings Online, and commissioned and sung internationally. Awards include: the inaugural Don Gutteridge Poetry Prize; Chapbook Big Pond Rumors; Open heart; Poetry Matters; the Drummond.Wendy is a retired United Church minister and spiritual director.

Wendy has spent a lot of time in Wonderland, thankfully free to follow the Spirit wherever it leads. This has taken her in and out of conventional roles, from being born in Toronto and growing up in suburban Montreal, to a BA from Queen’s University in English and Classics and a background in Early Childhood Education. at the University of Ottawa.

After this traditional start, her adventures took her to a small primary school in Chibougamau, and international schools in Saudi Arabia to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. The forests of Chibougamau, the deserts of Saudi and the mountains of Addis continue to ferment in his poetry.

Living in Athens, a small town in Ontario, with her two sons, Angus and Chester, she spent hours reading and writing silly storybooks and poems. At some point, she recognized that the restlessness in her soul was a calling, and she returned to school to prepare for ministry in the United Church of Canada, earning her Master of Divinity degree from Queen’s Theological College. This began another adventure, which tuned her ears through the ancient words of prophets and poets in the scriptures, and the writings of mystics and feminist theology. After serving in Kingston, Cowansville, Montreal and Lyn, Ontario, she moved into spiritual direction ministry. This is an ancient tradition of “soul friends” and spiritual accompaniment.

Over the years she has published many prayers for the liturgy, but with the encouragement of her group of Eastern Townships writers, she had two books published by Borealis Press: Raw Angel, Ecru Angelwith translations by Michel Gadoury (2006) and Spiritual Song in the Ancient Branches (2008).

Hearing his poetry sung was a great joy for Wendy. Commissioned by more than ten composers, she entrusts to their music the messages of beauty, justice and wonder of her words. In 2021, her poetry was commissioned to commemorate the LGBTQ+ purge by the National Unison Choirs and the Vancouver Men’s Choir. With words that connect the diversity of nature with the magnificent gifts of human creativity, Wendy echoes the call that has driven her since childhood: wonder, spirit and grace.

Wendy lives in Brockville near the St. Lawrence River with her husband, Michel, and a rowdy puppy named Joy.

The Atlantic Highlands Arts Council (AHAC) is committed to enabling all visitors to experience its classes and workshops, exhibitions and public programs. We recognize the diversity of abilities and needs in our community, and accommodations will be made to allow for the fullest level of participation possible.

For accessibility requests or questions, please visit their Accessibility services Web page.

The mission of Atlantic Highlands Arts Council is to strengthen community through the arts. It is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit organization that believes in the power of the arts to transform and enrich communities. Our primary function is to develop and execute arts-related events and activities for the benefit of our community.

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