…the score//augmented by the American/Redstarts and the sound of/my breathing…

from “Johnny on the Spot

 honourable mention in the Great Blue Heron Contest

 in the current

 Antigonish Review


(print edition).




“but today the sky is/under no one’s control”

“Parameters of Loss” and “Touchstone” are forthcoming in The Fiddlehead. 

Photograph by Eleonore Schönmaier


Grow expansively

Schonmaier Globe.jpg



What is the globe, but an orb

the size of a grapefruit


in your hand, and to go to the ends

of the earth is to journey across


the lines in your palm:

veins and arteries laid


out like a life plan.  Dreams

are what we believe in when we set


our sails, the spiderwebs

all fresh in the rigging.  One


person dreams of island life

and another of a country


garden with tomato plants.

Must we always travel


farther and farther away

when the meridians are laid out


so clearly in our hand-clasp?

We know that we’re caught


in a system of capillaries

and that the muscle called


our heart will eventually

abandon us along milky way


and spirals.  So on this Saturday

night tear up your visas, tickets


and decide your dream is where

you now stand, and that the people


who greet you when they unlock

their doors are the ones who will best


let your axon filaments grow

expansively snared.


(written in 2007)

From Wavelengths of Your Song (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013)


“Globe” set to music by Dutch composer Nico Huijbregts for clarinet, cello, violin and spoken voice. 2015.


Photo by Eleonore Schönmaier

“Birdsong tangles the branches…”


Eleonore Schönmaier’s poem “Compose” has been published in the latest issue of Arc Poetry along with new poems from Madhur Anand, Alyda Faber, D.A. Lockhart and Téa Mutonji among others. You can order a copy here.

Frankfurt, October

Schonmaier Frankfurt, October .jpg

“Frankfurt, October” is the closing poem in my book Wavelengths of Your Song.  When writing the poem Eleonore Schönmaier could never have imagined that the book would be published in German translation as Wellenlängen deines Liedes in time for the Frankfurt Bookfair 2020. Canada will be the guest country.

The Frankfurter Buchmesse is the world’s largest fair for books and is held each year in October. “The Frankfurter Buchmesse has been organised…since 1949 when 205 German exhibitors met in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt…However, the history of Frankfurter Buchmesse goes back much further – to the 15th century. At that time Johannes Gutenberg invented book printing just a few kilometres from downtown Frankfurt.”

All photos by Eleonore Schönmaier.




Under a Tree

Schonmaier Compose (tree).jpg

I’m reading the proofs from Arc Poetry Magazine for my forthcoming poem “Compose.”  This is always one of my favourite moments as a writer when all the invisible work of being a poet starts to feel and become real. The poem is about two people working together composing music and writing poetry while sitting under the sun-shelter of a tree. These trees from a distance look scrawny but they provide an amazing small oasis in the form of a cool micro-climate during the heat of the day. Trees are so essential to our world in so many diverse and important ways.


On Joy

Schonmaier Feet.jpg

“Entwined” and “Inner” have been accepted for publication in the anthology Wild Gods: The Ecstatic In Contemporary Poetry and Prose (New Rivers Press, Minnesota).

“Though ‘ecstatic’ is often used as a synonym for ‘joy,’ our application of the term embodies the entire emotional palette…Profound grief or outrage can access the ecstatic–as can experiences of extreme pleasure, pain, and wonder.

Poems are now forthcoming in four different anthologies in Canada and the United States.





“Tongues,” “So Much Remains Invisible,” and “Outstretched Arms” are featured in the current issue of Grain.

Other contributors include: Sheri Benning, Michelle Poirier Brown, Grant Buday, Kai Conradi, Krishan Coupland, Molly Cross-Blanchard, James Deahl, Antony Di Nardo, Patrick Friesen, Keegan Hawthorne, Robert Hilles, Judith Krause, Jessica Lampard, Norma West Linder, Conor Mc Donnell, Bruce McRae, Jan Morrison, Heather Parry, Sharon Pollock, John Reibetanz, Rebekah Rempel, Karen Rigby, Indra Singh, J. J. Steinfeld, Tom Wayman.

Cover Image is by Laura Dawe.

Thank you!

Schonmaier office 17 May 19.jpg

Thank you to everyone for your support and encouragement this past year.

In 2019 “it didn’t happen here” won the National Broadsheet Contest from the League of Canadian Poets (judged by D.A. Lockhart), “Johnny on the Spot” received an honourable mention in the Great Blue Heron Poetry Contest from The Antigonish Review (judged by Sue Goyette),  “Weightless” was part of the Poetry in Motion program, two poems were shortlisted for the Bridport Prize (UK), two poems were featured as part of the League of Canadian Poets Poetry Pause, “Pink” was published in Prairie Fire in a special Work Matters issue, and  Dust Blown Side of the Journey  was reviewed in Canadian LiteraturePoems were accepted for publication and are forthcoming in 2020 in Arc Poetry Magazine, Grain Magazine, Stand Magazine (UK), and The Antigonish Review. Poems are also forthcoming in three anthologies including Sweet Water: Poems for the Watersheds.

A German publisher wishes to publish Wavelengths of Your Song in translation in 2020, a new poetry manuscript is almost completed, and a Greek composer is weaving some of the new poems into a music-theatre work.

It was a great and joyous year.

All the best to all of you for 2020!


Johnny on the Spot

Schonmaier Johnny on the Spot.jpg

“Johnny on the Spot” received an honourable mention in the Great Blue Heron Poetry contest from The Antigonish Review (judged by Sue Goyette) and the poem will be published in a forthcoming issue. The poem weaves together baseball, musical and birding imagery.