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Feature Poet

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This month’s featured poet is: Donna Thompson

I was raised in a small hamlet called Bridgeview Survey in Burlington Ontario - with seven brothers and one sister. Our humble abode rested on a beautiful ravine setting, an enchantment of livelihood, where all my childhood fantasies became real, a princess in a real live forest, living among the squirrels, birds, and other lively animals singing and chatting with me.

I was seven years old when I found that I became fascinated with and enjoyed writing poems, so I would ostracize myself to my room and spend hours writing rhyme. By the age of ten I read every Nancy Drew book.

My father was a machinist and a recreational carpenter, made good money but there was never enough of it, to maintain a large family. My mother was a homemaker.

We had summer gardens each year to help out with the expense. We were semi-dysfunctional in that the parents drank while attending weekly church- The Kingdom Hall. At the age of four I was going to the store by myself and at five we weren't going to the hall anymore. At five I took myself to the small church every Sunday, just down the road from the house. Later on at the age of seven and older I went to church with the neighbour friends. As a young teen I went to Bible school.

I was hired on my first job at age 10 as the storekeepers front window washer, I did such a good job, they kept me on all summer. I learned my arithmetic from watching the storekeeper counting by 10's calculating his totals nightly. At the age of fifteen I quit high school due to parental drinking and discouragement. I became a live-in babysitter for two young boys.

At eighteen I worked for a few months and became the bosses girlfriend, I didn't relish the idea of being treated with specialty, so I quit.

Between the ages of nineteen and twenty-three I had my son and daughter, in which I raised myself and never married. At this time I enrolled for classes at a community college, dropped out due to pregnancy and lack of guidance. Enrolled back into upgrading later on and was completing my grade twelve English when I had no other choice but to drop out once again, due to a hospital visit. In the 1980's I paid for a teller training course, in which I received a diploma and work experience at the Bank of Montreal. At the age of twenty-three, I worked for the Y.W.C.A with children. My longest job was for six years consecutively; with a taxi company as dispatcher and phone operator.

In the late 1990's I enrolled in a correspondence course which I completed with the Institute of Children's Literature in Redding Connecticut. Unfortunately, I suffered the tragedy of my sons death and didn't receive my diploma at this time.

Between jobs and human resources helping me financially, I managed to raise my children with adequate love without adequate money.

In the late 80's my father died an early death and my mother died two or three months after.

My main objective was to steer myself down the right pathway in life. I've found myself always trying to succeed and getting nowhere. I pushed myself throughout life to the best of my ability, to move onward and progressively, with no one behind me, to encourage me. I feel that I am getting the encouragement that I have been seeking throughout my life, now that I am affiliated with the Canadian Federation of Poets. Thank You Tracy for being the encourager in my life, what I needed so badly.

Throughout my life, I wrote periodically and entered contests, but at these times I wasn't much of a writer. It wasn't until the year 2002 when a vanity press found me via-the-internet and published me on my first submission. Fooling me into thinking I was a good writer at this time when I knew I wasn't. My most progression has come with writing to The Canadian Federation of Poets in the various writings I've submitted, where I literally learned to edit efficiently through one lesson from you Tracy. Finally I can rest knowing I am being recognized for my talent on a grander scale.

I am presently unemployed and collecting a disability pension. My future endeavors are to go to University to get a degree, to further my writing a novel or two.

My quest in life was always to learn. I strived to learn things, a library visit was always on my agenda. Since the 90's I've read the Dictionary on a daily basis.

I've written to writer's groups in the past six years, and spent a year chatting on a genius forum, where I received the closest to a university education that I could get. My life long soul endeavor is to go to university to get a degree and to write a novel or two.

'You don't often meet someone with such a perseverance to achieve against life's odds, but Donna is one of those gems who bares her soul and with a little encouragement and recognition will go very far.' Tracy Lynn Repchuk

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