Eleonore Schönmaier

Eleonore Schönmaier is a Canadian writer whose work can “be enjoyed for the beauty of the language alone” (Arc Poetry).

Manifesting “experiential empathy” (League of Canadian Poets), her poems “are acts of deep poetic cognition” (Antigonish Review). Her writing often “takes an ecological approach with its rich selection of nature poetry” (Canadian Literature) and the “natural world is prominent, almost dreamlike” (Prairie Fire). “[O]ne also hears a constant music in the poetry” (Canadian Poetries). “The effect is like that of a symphony with interwoven and subtly varied musical statements, and, as in a symphony, the effect is cumulative” (Arc Poetry). In their “clear-eyed perceptiveness” (Atlantic Books Today) her poems are “wonderfully unforgettable” (Fiddlehead).

Eleonore Schönmaier is the author of the critically acclaimed collections Dust Blown Side of the Journey (2017), Wavelengths of Your Song (2013) and Treading Fast Rivers (1999) all from McGill-Queen’s University Press. Wavelengths of Your Song was published in German translation in August 2020 as Wellenlängen deines Liedes from parasitenpresse (Cologne). Field Guide to the Lost Flower of Crete is forthcoming from MQUP in Spring 2021.

Her poems have been set to music by Greek, Dutch, Scottish, American and Canadian composers including Michalis Paraskakis, Carmen Braden, and Emily Doolittle. The New European Ensemble and the St Andrews New Music Ensemble have performed her poetry in concert.

She has won the Alfred G. Bailey Prize, the Earle Birney Prize, the National Broadsheet Contest, and was a Sheldon Currie Fiction award winner among others.

Her poetry was chosen for the Academy of American Poets Poem in Your Pocket Day booklet in 2018, for the League of Canadian Poets Poem in Your Pocket Day brochures in 2018 and 2019, and for Poetry in Motion 2019 (Nova Scotia).

 Her writing has been published extensively in literary magazines in Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Her work is widely anthologized in Canada and the United States, and her poetry has been published in Best Canadian Poetry.

A talented and generous teacher she has taught advanced fiction courses at St. Mary’s University, creative writing at Mount Saint Vincent University, and has worked as a poetry mentor for the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.

As volunteer chair of the Barrens and Backlands Group she worked to achieve the nature reserve designation for the Duncans Cove Barrens, Nova Scotia.