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Biography | Biography | Biography of Carolyn Zonailo

Carolyn ZonailoCarolyn Zonailo, (Canada, b.1947)

     Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Zonailo attended Scripps College, in Claremont, California; and the University of Rochester, New York, where she published poems in student literary magazines and studied with classics scholar, Norman O. Brown (author of Love’s Body and Life Against Death). She received her B.A. in literature from the University of British Columbia (1971) and M.A. from Simon Fraser University (1980).

     During her life, Zonailo has maintained an interest in mythology, archetypal studies, and Jungian psychology. Her poetic vision encompasses a personal and feminist viewpoint together with that of a mythic and universal perspective. While still an undergraduate, she married the son of Dr John Weir Perry, an eminent Jungian psychoanalyst and author.

     In the 1970s, Zonailo gave birth to a son and a daughter. In 1977 she founded Caitlin Press, which she ran with Cathy Ford and Ingrid Klassen, and then on her own until the press was sold and relocated to northern British Columbia. Her first full-length book of poems, The Wide Arable Land, was published in 1981. She has written several books of poetry and poetry chapbooks, and a memoir about her childhood and Doukhobor heritage. Poetry books include: Zen Forest (1987); The Taste of Giving: New & Selected Poems (1990); Memory House (1995)); the moon with mars in her arms (2006).

     Since 1992 to 2008, Zonailo has lived in Quebec, with Montreal-born poet Stephen Morrissey, whom she married in 1995. From 1992-1999 she collaborated with graphic artist and poet Ed Varney, producing broadsides, pamphlets and chapbooks with The Poem Factory/Usine de Poeme. During the 1980s and 1990s, Zonailo served on the executives of national and provincial literary organizations. In 2000, she and her husband, Stephen Morrissey, founded Coracle Press. Zonailo works as a freelance editor and consultant. She writes and lectures in astrology under the name Carolyn Joyce. She has worked as a time-management/life-planning consultant and taught creative writing.

     Zonailo is a lyric poet; her poems have been set to music, recorded and broadcast. Her poetic sensibility is informed by the landscape of the west coast; by her studies in mythology and Jungian psychology; and by her experiences as a woman. In addition, her Doukhobor (spirit-wrestler) heritage brings another dimension of spiritual and historical intensity to her work. Her paternal grandmother and family were part of the 1899 immigration of the Russian Doukhobor peasants to Canada, sponsored by Count Leo Tolstoy.

     The poetry of Carolyn Zonailo is erotic, spiritual, and compassionate. Zonailo’s poetry is crafted from the particulars of the world she lives in, expressing a feminist perspective that is intimate and immediate. She balances an observational clarity regarding the everyday, with that of the visionary and poet. Zonailo’s poetry is witness to her aesthetic belief in the inherently human activity of writing poetry.

     Selected books: Nature’s Grace (1993), Wading the Trout River (1997), The Goddess in the Garden (2002), finalist, A.M. Klein Poetry Award. | Biography | Biography of Carolyn Zonailo
Wave Goddess
The Wave Goddess
Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Zonailo attended ...
CZ is a visionary poet who writes with compassion and careful detail about the world she lives in.
GoddessThe Goddess in the Garden combines mystical insight and sensual language to evoke a timeless meadow where humans and deities play out eternal passions.
She draws on her study of mythology, astrology, and Jungian psychology, for a seemingly inexhaustible source of imagery.
There is a quality in her work which makes all her poems hers, but Zonailo’s style does differ. Compendium is a collection of short, lyrical poetry; Zone 5 of prose. Each book is an extension of her poetic exploration and a separate expression.
Over the years of sitting in Grant's Cafe or the Europa and talking poetry with Lewis Gretsinger, the questions have been asked: why write? what are you saying? what are your poetics?
Last Will and Testament
I give my soul to God.
I give my body to the earth.
I give my poems to posterity.
I give my spirit to tolerance.
I give my mind to the future.
Forthcoming Titles
The Land of Motionless ChildhoodThe Land of Motionless Childhood is a memoir of short stories by Carolyn Zonailo about growing up in Vancouver, and her Doukhobor heritage.
Photo Gallery
CZPictures of CZ from her 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.
Literary Papers
Spanning the years 1955 to 2005, the Carolyn Zonailo Papers holds, as nearly as possible, a currently complete collection of Zonailo's extant literary papers.
CZ Go to the Top of the Page.
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