The Ontario Poetry Society
~ Bernice Lever ~

About TOPS










Ted Plantos Dedication






BERNICE LEVER, a freelance editor and poet, was born in Smithers, BC, March 19, 1936, but now resides on Bowen Island, BC, Canada. She has a BA and an MA in English from York University as well as teaching certificates from BC and Ontario. She still works as an editor and marketing advisor, mainly for novels and memoirs. She has 3 children. 2 grandchildren and 2 great granddaughters by 2013.

Retired after 14 years of English/Humanities teaching at Seneca College, Ontario, she has taught from kindergarten to university essay classes, Atkinson College. As well, she has led numerous workshops for the academic essay, business communications and creative writing at Ryerson Polytechnic University, Ontario College of Art, various public libraries and schools, and for one year at Pasadena Community Centre, California.

Awards and Memberships:

Bernice, coordinator of Richvale Writers,1967-2000, was given a Town of Richmond Hill Arts Award 1993 for 25 years of community service. From 1993-1995, she was treasurer/VP of the League of Canadian Poets, and in 2000, she was awarded Honorary Lifetime membership in the Canadian Poetry Association. Now she is a pat executive member the Bowen Island Arts Council. Also a lifetime member of CAA, she was the Advocacy member for the Canadian Authors Association and its PLR representative. She is Writer-in-Residence for both the Vancouver and Ottawa CAA branches, but in 1997-1999, she was Writer-in-Residence for CAA -Toronto branch. From 2001-2003, she was President of the CAA Vancouver branch. In 2004, she received the Alan Sangster Award for national service to the CAA. She also belongs to the BC Federation of Writers, north Shore Writers, Royal City Literary Arts Society, World Poetry Society, Burnaby Writers and other local Vancouver area writers' groups.

In 2000, she was given a Lifetime Membership Award from the Canadian Poetry Association, then in fall, 2007, she was given a Special Achievement Award from the Surrey Board of Trade at the Surrey International Writers' Conference. In Feb. 2008, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Poetry Reading Series and the Vancouver Public Library. In 2009 Bernice was awarded an Honourary Life Membership in The Ontario Poetry Society. From 2009-2011, Bernice was active in the "Write on Bowen" annual writer's festival and was active in the Feminist Caucus of the League of Canadian Poets.

She has lived only 5 years outside of Canada: Cheshire, England and then Ohio and California, USA. But she has read her poems in Australia, Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and USA. Bernice has performed her poems on radio, television and Canadian public stages: Halifax to Victoria for which she gratefully records support from the Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, Metro Arts Council and varied employees.

Her travels with poetry readings and family to five continents, and especially her three years in Cheshire, England, have given her many opportunities to discuss language education methods with many English teachers. Her Toronto area classes had students from many nations. She has given presentations on her colour coding and interactive exercises for her effective method to teachers at conferences in North America. Bernice is also known for her leadership at workshops for creativity and marketing one's writing.

Forthcoming books:
Lies for All Occasions, Heart poem chapbook
Healing Chants and Seven Stages of Relationships.

Excuses, for all occasions - verse , Highway Book Shop, 1979
Singing, Canadian women prisoners - editor, Highway Book Shop, 1979
Yet, Woman I Am - poetry, Highway Book Shop, 1980
Sometimes the Distance - poetry, Mosaic Press, 1986
The Colour of Words - grammar & composition text, self-pub., 1990 (available as a CD or pdf File - $10.00 ea.)
expanded to 240 pp. & 33 pp. answers in 1999. TM & (c)
Teacher's Handbook, 1994
The Waiting Room - prose, Highway Book Shop, 1993
Things Unsaid - poetry, Black Moss, 1996
Mix Six - 6 poets, Mekler & Deahl, 1996
Uncivilizing - 6 poets, Insomniac Press, 1997
Language(s) / Prison(s) - 4 poets, League of Canadian Poets, 1999
Blessings - poetry, Black Moss, 2000
Seeds 5, - 10 pp. poetry included, Hidden Brook Press, 2001
Six Voices - 6 poets, Hidden Brook Press, 2002
Never A Straight Line - Black Moss, Palm Poet Series, 2007
Editor & publisher of WAVES, Fine Canadian Writing, from 1972-1987
Generation, Black Moss press, fall, 2009

Imagining Lives, Black Moss Press, spring, 2012
Dee and I met in 1965, prose piece on Dorothy Livesay for Epiphanies, Feminist Caucus, LCP June 2012
What the City Never Taught Me, prose piece in Island Living, anthology, Key Publishing, Toronto

A poem, Imagining Lives, in Planet Earth Poetry anthology, for a reading series in Victoria, Leaf Press, fall, 2012
Encompass 1, The Ontario Poetry Society, 2013
Red Letter Day, Black Moss Press, 2014

Bernice is giving readings and has a book Launch in fall - 2012 and 2014
July 25th, interview on Co-op radio, World Poetry, 102.7 FM, Vancouver, 9-10 pm locally but it is on the net internationally.

Major literary profile written by Dennis Bolen in the Vancouver Sun, Saturday Nov. 24, 2013.

Bernice Lever is 1 of 5 poets
in this anthology
Contact information:
Bernice Lever
865B Hummingbird Lane
Bowen Island, BC V0N 1G1
phone: 604-947-0017

email: Bernice
website: www.colourofwords.com