Soul-Lit celebrates a decade of spiritual poetry


In early 2012, local author Wayne-Daniel Berard was excitedly running through the busy poetry community when he met fellow poet and Simmons College professor specializing in sustainability and corporate responsibility, Deborah Leipziger. Leipziger was facilitating its creation, a festival of Jewish poetry at Temple Sinai in Brookline. Visiting the festival was a last-minute weekend plan for Bérard, who did not expect the event to be a stroke of luck leading him and his friends to found their own poetry magazine, Soul-Lit, until a decade later.

According to Bérard “When I was at the festival, there were many wonderful spiritual poets who wrote not only about Judaism, but about spirituality in general. At the time, it was very difficult to find a place for spiritual poetry because everyone thought it would be about trying to impose religion on people, which was not the case at all . There are so many people who are spiritual but not particularly religious,” Bérard said.

Moved by the readers and the energy of the event, Berard approached Leipziger on a whim, expressing his appreciation for the festival and his dissatisfaction with the limited opportunities for spiritual poetry.

“I said to him, ‘We need more places for spiritual poetry, I’m struggling to get published myself so why not start ours?’ and Leipziger agreed. So I called my longtime spiritual friend, Rob Schadt, who worked in technology and education at Boston University. I told him about our idea to start this online spiritual poetry publication and he said, “great, I’m in on it”. So Rob has become an essential person, he takes all the poetry, reports and interviews and puts them all online. I remember it was spring 2012 when our first issue of Soul-Lit came out and people loved it, it got a lot of attention and over time we started getting a lot of submissions from people of all religions and spiritualities around the world,” says Bérard.

Over the years, Soul-Lit has featured an incredible list of poets, including Robert Pinsky, 1997-2000 United States Poet Laureate, and Janice Silverman Rebibo, winner of the President’s Award, the state’s highest literary honor. of Israel. The magazine published poems submitted by high school students and centenarians, featuring poets from around the world.

At 2 p.m. on July 31 in Ashland, Soul-Lit will celebrate its 10th anniversary, featuring Worcester poet Paul Szlosek, recipient of the Jacob Knight Award for Poetry and founder of The Poets Parlor in Sturbridge, alongside poet and teacher internationally acclaimed Dariana Guerrero. , followed by an open mic.

For event details, including event location and submissions, visit or RSVP to [email protected]


About Author

Comments are closed.