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arts

Connected to your community

‘Poetry depends upon empathy’: Leduc Continued from page 34

“It was pretty tough in Nigeria,” said Leduc. “I lived in the north part of the country, which is below the Sahara desert, so water and fresh food were always a problem, especially water sometimes.” However, the difficulties inherent in the job didn’t seem to dissuade him from applying for another teaching contract two years later, this time in Malaysia for five years. “I went from the desert to the rainforest,” he said. However, it was getting used to Canada again that proved more difficult, said Leduc. “The culture shock coming home hit me harder than it did going over there,” he said. “Being seven years overseas and coming home, things change so fast here, whereas overseas it’s a much slower pace of life. So I had a hard time readjusting.” Eventually, Leduc settled into custodial work, finding a job as a superintendant at an apartment building in Kanata.

Through all that time, poetry was a constant, if not omnipresent passion. Now, having just passed his 60th birthday, Leduc realized he had written enough poems to make a book.

We all live in our own little loneliness ... David Leduc

“I thought, ‘well, I better get it out before I’m gone or else it will be lost to history.’” Leduc’s poems are a collection of short haikus, as well as narratives, sonnets, ballads and many others. “A lot of my poems deal with the dichotomies and the contradictions and the confusions that we live through in our lives,” he said. Though some of these are inspired by his unique experiences abroad and what it was like coming back to Canada, much of his poetry is about sharing experiences that others

relate to. But Leduc goes beyond simply pointing these instances of “dichotomies, contradictions and confusions.” Ultimately, his poetry is about showing people they are not alone. “Poetry depends upon empathy,” explained Leduc. “When you show or express empathy to somebody, then they can realize that they are not alone. “We all live in our own little loneliness, and I believe by expressing empathy outward, it confirms that we are not alone. We all have the same issues and problems in our lives.” Leduc said he is relieved to get his poetry out into the world, though he said it feels a bit like inviting the public to criticize your soul. Still, he has a long-term view for the success of his poetry now that he knows it will be available online and is soon to be available in the Ottawa Public Library System. “If it doesn’t catch on this generation, it might catch on the next generation.”

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commitment to WOCRC purpose/programs, knowledge of the western Ottawa community, previous board experience (preferably with non-profit organizations), strong communication skills, demonstrated ability to work in a team, and ability to commit the time required to fulfill this role (from 3 to 6 hours per month, depending on current activities and time of year).

Community-oriented individuals interested in joining our Board of Directors are encouraged to submit their nomination by no later than March 24, 2014. Nominations should include a detailed letter of interest and resume outlining relevant qualifications. Submissions will be reviewed and only those successfully chosen will be contacted for an interview.

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Kanata Kourier-Standard EMC - Thursday, March 20, 2014 35

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Kanata Kourier-Standard March 20, 2014

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Kanata Kourier-Standard March 20, 2014

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