Writer ∙ Essayist ∙ Poet

I’m a Vancouver Island-based writer who’s inspired by landscapes—both interior and exterior.

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My Mother, My Disease, and Me

In my memory, I am 11 years old, lying on a massage table in a dimly lit room. Two  women are rubbing herbalized oil into my skin. At first, I’m a little insecure about my bony ribs and chest, but as the women’s hands sweep across my body, I settle into a state of deep relaxation…

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Wild, Salty Body of Water 

The Salish Sea is a wet lung breathing outside our balcony while my boyfriend, Doug, and I sleep. It inhales and exhales all night long, sucking seaweed into its salty windpipe, spitting crustaceans upon the shores of Galiano Island…

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An Unlikely Antidote for Heartache

Here, amidst the shuffling carousel of seniors, this handsome elder really stood out. Unlike everyone else in the room, he was taller than me. He also had style: black satin shirt and gold necklace style…

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01_VerseMap_vonEssenPoetry

I’ve published poems in both American and Canadian journals and anthologies. Feel free to explore my work.

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About Me

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 4.49.08 PMMy essays and poetry have appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington PostMcSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Rumpus, The Writer, A Verse Map of Vancouver, Quills Canadian Poetry, Sulphur III, and other publications. Learn more.