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ERIC VAN GIESSEN (he/him/his) is passionate about the intersections of faith, social justice and creativity/art. He’s used poetry as a way to navigate his way through reconciling his faith & sexuality and continues to write both poetry and prose as a form of self-expression, truth-telling, activism, play and protest.

He is a white (Dutch), cisgender, queer, able-bodied settler living on the stolen land of the Anishinabe people - he strives to understand his positionality and privilege so as to know better when to listen and when to speak, and so that he might be a better friend to those oppressed by the systems that have benefited him. He fails regularly, and continues striving to do better.

In 2015, I began my Master of Arts degree in Social Justice & Community Engagement at Laurier Brantford. During this time, I co-founded the Pomegranate Mural Collective with friend and local artist Pamela Rojas, and led the Laurier Brantford student body in an critical exploration of toxic masculinity and gender-based violence. My Major Research Project (MRP) was a community autoethnography that used poetry to explore 2SLGBTQIA+ experiences within Christian faith communities. The project culminated in a major research paper entitled, Queerly Faithful: A Queer-Poet Community Autoethnography On Identity And Belonging in Christian Faith Communities, as well as a poetry collection in the form of a zine publication which can be found here.

I identify as queer and have been coming out since I was 20. I am thrilled to be working as Generous Space’s Operations Manager where I am able to put my problem solving skills and eye for detail to good use. My role involves communications, promotional design & implementation, fundraising, resource development, general operations, event planning, and much more.

Blog Contributors

The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes which we hope to bring about through those lives. It is within this light that we form those ideas by which we pursue our magic and make it realized. This is poetry as illumination, for it is through poetry that we give name to those ideas which are—until the poem—nameless and formless, about to be birthed, but already felt. That distillation of experience from which the poetry springs births thought as dream births concept, as feeling births idea, as knowledge births (precedes) understanding.
— Lorde, Audre. (2007). Poetry is not a luxury. In Sister outsider: Essays and speeches (Revised ed., pp. 36-39). Berkeley: Crossing Press.