(By Todd Hambleton, Cornwall Standard Freeholder)
For an author and poet, there’s no substitute for lived experience.
Alexandria’s Bobi Leutschaft Poitras has drawn from the many varied stages of her life to produce Fragments, a book of poetry published by Austin Macauley Publishers and which became available last week.
“I’m happy with it, it’s very exciting,” said Poitras, talking about the collection of 60 of her poems and 30 paintings.
“They’re personal feelings, experiences. . . (the poems) are fragments of my life, I suppose,” Poitras said. “Feeling and observations about the world around me.”
Poitras, who was born in Germany and came to Canada at age three, has a lot of lived experience. She left home in Montreal at 18 via Greyhound bus, and lived out west – mostly in Vancouver – for almost eight years, then returned to Quebec.
Poitras got married, she home-schooled several of her four children for 13 years, says she later “went through a religious phase,” and moved to Eastern Ontario and is now settled in Alexandria.
“I’ve been writing poetry as long as I can remember, but slowed almost to a stop while raising a family,” she said.
Poitras took up painting a few years ago, and she’s president of the Glengarry Artists’ Collective that she co-founded.
She’s sold several paintings, and has works hanging in Germany, China, the United States and various parts of Canada.
“In the last two years I’ve gotten back into the swing of writing,” Poitras said.
She’s been prolific, actually, having composed more than 200 works, including well over 100 paintings and 120 poems.
Poitras said she writes every day, but she doesn’t keep everything she composes.
“A lot of (daily writing) is just to get the garbage out of my head,” she said.
Fragments is her first book of poetry, but expect more to come.
“I hope so,” said Poitras, who plans on another book of poetry similar to Fragments, and who has also been working on paintings to go with a not-yet-published book of poems for children that she’s written.
Poitras will have many of her paintings on display during February at the Alexandria branch of the SDG Library. On Feb. 27 at the library, there’ll be a meet the author event beginning at 6:30 p.m., with Poitras reading selections from her book.
Fragments is available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The book will be available at area book stores later this fall.