Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Sonja Skarstedt, d. July 31, 2009;

a sad note from stephen morrissey;

I've just heard last night that Sonja Skarstedt, after a long battle with cancer, died on Friday, July 31, 2009. Sonja was a dear friend to many of us, with a terrific sense of humour and a great spirit to live and create. Geof Isherwood, her husband and life partner--they were always together--informs me there will be a memorial gathering on Sonja's birthday, next October 2. We have lost someone who contributed so much to poetry in Montreal, with her magazine Zymergy, published between 1987-1990, and later with Empyreal Press, she was a tireless and generous worker for many of us whom she published and many more that she supported in other ways. She was also a great support and friend of Louis Dudek in his final years and published his last books for him. What a loss we have all suffered, especially Geof and his family. Sonja was only 48 years old and had such a youthful spirit. I remember Geof and Sonja driving out to Huntingdon to visit back in 1989 or 1990, a time when I especially appreciated her visit, and the years during the 1990s when we worked on books she published for us. She was a terrifically creative person, a poet, a visual artist, a playwright, and most recently she had branched out to making films.

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