Erika Lee

Author, Teacher

I am an English as a Second Language instructor residing within the beautiful Niagara Region of Southern Ontario, Canada. I have been writing poetry and prose for a very long time, with periods of procrastination, lethargy and the mental requirements of my education and career somewhat overcoming me, causing me most frustratingly not to be as prolific as I would like. Importantly, I recently met a local group of writers and have joined with them. They have given me new energy and inspiration, guidance and courage to push forward as a writer. I also had the great blessing and curse to have studied under one of the most brilliant and inspiring, if not to say almost unbearably difficult, English Literature professors, at Brock University, Brian Crick, who taught me how to read and think, and who has haunted, both for good an ill, my bookshelves for the past 20 years. Prior to that, at Humber College, now 30 years ago, I was fortunate to have Wayson Choy, author of The Jade Peony, as my college English teacher, who saw in a few of us a need for a more creative outlet for our writing than the standard resume and business letter requirements of the course. Wayson lovingly shared hours of his passion and talent, for free, to guide us in our creativity, and it was that experience that started it all, even though it’s taken me 30 years to get this far (though I haven’t published anything yet, my creative mind has not stopped working since Wayson lit the spark).

I am a British born Canadian, who has spent a few years in both Japan and China, and who has an affinity for Russia and her language, and a desire, yet not the wallet, to visit many cultures. Nationalism is not in my blood, rather curiosity and harmony guide my patriotism. People everywhere interest, intrigue, beguile, repulse, attract, fascinate, and astound me with their wondrousness, their banality, their hope, their desperation, their kindness and their cruelty. I also feel all these things toward and within myself, because I don’t know how else but to be subjectively objective, or objectively subjective in my thinking and living, and I fail in equanimity often, finding my passion overtaking me. And this is my pursuit, to understand the balance in all things, especially between equanimity and passion, the prosaic and the poetic of humanity, and to recognize and examine, within and without, whether harmonious or fractured, each state of existence.