Ted Plantos Dedication
Hill is a Life Member and Past President of The Ontario Poetry Society
(TOPS), a Member of The League of Canadian Poets, the Writers' Union
of Canada, the Canadian Authors Association (Niagara Branch), The
Lambton Writers Association, and the Lake Winnipeg Writers' Group.
One of her passions
is promoting the work of other writers. Since 2014 she has written
and posted over 155 features on her literary blog Kites Without
Strings and for eight seasons (September 2005 to June 2013) she
was also a co-host of a monthly open mic event in southwestern Ontario.
in words stems from her earlier writing career. She worked as a
journalist at two rural newspapers and as a communication specialist
with The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Lakehead University in Thunder Bay
and Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. When her first child was
born, she juggled employment as a freelance writer, creating media
releases, advertorials for local magazines and articles/stories
for such international publications as Chicken Soup for the Soul
and other inspirational books.
Since turning to poetry in 2003, over 415 of her poems have been
published in over 150 different publications/websites including
Descant, Existere, In/Words Magazine & Press, Juniper: A Poetry
Journal, Poetry Pause, Synaeresis art + poetry, The Fieldstone Review,
The Literary Review of Canada, The Quilliad, The Windsor Review,
Vallum, Voices, and several TOPS anthologies including Arborealis.
In the United States, her work has also appeared in Blast Furnace,
LUMMOX, MOBIUS, phati'tude Literary Magazine, Philadelphia Poets,
Still Point Arts Quarterly, TAMARACKS, The Binnacle, and Thema.
Voices Israel published her poetry overseas.
Her free verse
poem "In a Hospital Garden" was translated/printed in
Chinese in North American Maple and ten of her poems were reprinted
and translated in Greek in the anthology Hellenic Encounters (CANCYP
She has read her work throughout Ontario including the Fringe Stage
of the 2011 Eden Mills Writers' Festival, The Artword ArtBar in
Hamilton, The Art Bar Poetry Series in Toronto, and during the 2012
PoeTrain Express/Spring Pulse Poetry Festival in Cobalt. She also
presented her work across the western Canadian provinces as part
of the 2015 Great Canadian PoeTrain Tour and in Dearborn, Michigan
in the United States.
on the prairies, Okun Hill earned a Diploma in Applied Arts, Creative
Communication Program from Red River Community College and has a
Bachelor of Arts Degree from Lakehead University. From 2001 to 2005,
she returned to her studies and completed on-line college courses
on creative writing and poetry as well as in-class workshops with
Brian Henry. In 2012 she attended a poetry retreat led by Allan
Briesmaster, took a half-day workshop with Don McKay in 2014, and
was mentored by Harold Rhenisch for several months in 2017.
She now gardens
words full-time in rural southwestern Ontario.
*2013-2014 Ontario Arts Council Writers' Reserve
*2012-2013 Ontario Arts Council Writers' Reserve
Tarnished Trophies In her first full collection of poems
by a trade publisher, Debbie Okun Hill leaps from the bleachers
into the light and shadow of the sports world. According to John
B. Lee, the Poet Laureate of the city of Brantford "these poems
are not without humour
and the bittersweet is not too sweet,
not too bitter." Sarnia author Norma West Linder adds "the
judicial use of original metaphor makes this collection a rewarding
experience for the reader". Black Moss Press, 2014 ISBN 978-0-88753-528-4
Edited and Compiled:
MINDSHADOWS - A Canadian Poetry Anthology, Beret Days Press, 2015.
Publications and Anthologies:
An Anthology of Poetry by 10 Life Members of The Ontario Poetry
Society, Beret Days Press, 2019.
Hellenic Encounters, CANCYP Publications, 2018.
I, Beret Days Press, 2013, ISBN 978-1-897497-73-9
Chalk Dust Clouds, winner of The Ontario Poetry Society's 2017 Golden
Grassroots Chapbook Contest, Beret Days Press, 2017.
Experience, runner-up in The 1st Annual Big Pond Rumours Chapbook
Contest, Big Pond Rumours Press, 2017.
of Comet Dust: Poems Pulled from Earth, The Stanza Break Chapbook
Series #43, Beret Days Press, 2011.
Comet Dust: A Collection of Award-winning Poems, The Stanza Break
Chapbook Series #27, Beret Days Press, 2008.
She has judged numerous contests including the Brooklin Poetry Society
Inaugural Poetry Contest, 2018; the Idea Exchange Cambridge Poetry
Contest, Children's Poetry Category, 2016; TOPS Golden Grassroots
Chapbook Award, 2019; TOPS The Ultra Short Poem Competition, 2015;
TOPS Double Your Pleasure Poetry Contest, 2013; and TOPS Emerging
from the Shadows Poetry Contest, 2010.
*2007 Ted Plantos Memorial Award
Choice Award from Mobius Magazine
TOPS Golden Grassroots 2017 Chapbook Award, The Lah Dee Dah Dee
Dah Poetry Contest 2009, and The No Matter What Shape Your Poem
is Contest (Haiku Category) 2005
The Lake Winnipeg Writers' Group 2018 Write On the Lake Contest
(Adult Poetry category)
The Sarnia-Lambton Alzheimer Society "Forget Me Not" Writing
Contest (Adult Poetry) 2013; 2nd place in 2012
TOPS The Ultra Short Poem Competition 2014
Adult Category, 2007 Dan Sullivan Memorial Poetry Contest
Canadian Poetry Association (CPA) Annual Membership Poetry Contest
Big Pond Rumours's 2017 Chapbook Contest; TOPS 2016 Arborealis Prize
for Poetry, Food for Thought Poetry Competition, 2014, and The Ultra
Short Poem Competition, 2014; Writers' Federation of New Brunswick
(WFNB) 2010 Literary Competition (Individual Poem Category); and
2006 Toward the Light Poetry Contest (Adult Category).
in FreeFall 2008 Prose and Poetry Contest
the West End Writers 2009 Writing Contest
Mention in Mobius Magazine's the fourth Dr. Zylpha Mapp Robinson
International Poetry Award Contest plus TOPS Golden Grassroots Chapbook
Mention/Judges Selection awards in various other contests organized
by: Ascent Aspirations Magazine, Big Pond Rumours, The Binnacle,
Canadian Author's Association (Niagara Branch), Canadian Poetry
Association (CPA), Craigleigh Press, Cranberry Tree Press, Dr. William
Henry Drummond Poetry , and The Ontario Poetry Society 2004 to 2018.