I’m back!

You may have noticed that I disappeared from this website/blog. It wasn’t anything that you did. Let’s just say that the world (and my world) turned upside down in 2020 when we all started social distancing due to all the COVID restrictions. Was this a forced mid-life crisis? As someone once said, when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Oh, the cliche!

It took me a long time to start making lemonade.  I put most of my writing on hold to declutter my surroundings and to explore other creative options like the fine arts, knitting, card making, reading, and yes even just dreaming and colouring in children’s colouring books. Was it time to shut off the computer, retire a bit early, and spend more time with nature? Mother Nature proved to be so healing. I loved gardening and playing in the earth.

You may have also seen me on Goodreads, writing reviews and exploring a variety of different genres other than poetry. I love books and felt fortunate that my home had many unread volumes sitting on shelves that I could turn to when the local libraries temporarily closed their doors.

Was it a mistake to take such an extended break from my literary journey? I did write at least one poem a month by using Rattle Magazine’s monthly ekphrastic challenge as a prompt. It’s something I would like to explore further: this love for art and words and how art inspires writing.

So, I’m back! A lot greyer than when I started but perhaps somewhat wiser too! My next project shall be a surprise, even to me. We’ll see where the muse leads me now.


First draft of a new collection of poems focusing on pioneer and rural crafts has been completed and is still percolating/waiting for revisions. Several poems have already received minor awards. Research and writing made possible thanks to the support of The Ontario Arts Council Writers’ Reserve 2013-2014 program.

Poems by Debbie Okun Hill as part of a craft display at the Wyoming Library March 2015

Several of my pioneer craft themed poems appeared in a March 2015 craft display organized by the Wyoming Library.

50th logo colour with tag JPEG small

Ash Leaves, a collection of tribute poems focusing on the ash tree and how the invasion of Emerald Ash Borers is changing the Canadian landscape.  Several poems are still circulating and submitted to literary magazines.  Manuscript is polished and the hunt is on for a publisher. Special thanks to the support of the Ontario Arts Council Writers’ Reserve 2012-2013 program. Special thanks to award-winning Canadian poet and mentor Harold Rhenisch for his editorial suggestions and guidance.

International Day of Forests World Poetry Day March 21, 2017

Image from a power point/video presentation created for Canada’s 150th celebration and posted online on the Lambton Shield website, spring 2017.


Chalk Dust Clouds, first prize winner in The Ontario Poetry Society’s 2017 Golden Grassroots Chapbook Award. Filled with school supplies metaphors, this 19-poem collection dares to ask: “Did Eve drop…/the polished apple into Newton’s lap?”. Published by Beret Days Press, 2017. ISBN: 978-1-926495-42-2  24-pages

Chalk Dust Clouds front cover scanned and edited

Published by Beret Days Press

JUDGES COMMENTS: “Original and creative language…Overall, I found this to be brilliant poetry…it [the manuscript] rose to the top early and I kept going back to it time and again” — Becky Alexander, Contest Judge, The Ontario Poetry Society’s 2017 Golden Grassroots Chapbook Award

Check the list for other contest winners.



Drawing from Experience, shortlisted for the Big Pond Rumours 1st Chapbook Contest.  A chapbook of 15 art- and ekphrastic-themed poems published by Big Pond Rumours Press, 2017. ISBN: 978-0-9780201-9-4   30-pages More info here.

“Debbie’s poems make clear she has the love and eye of an artist, her rich visual imagery whether observed from museum masterpieces, a dramatic tribute to Emily Carr, or from a tarantula framed in a gallery gift shop, touch on the necessity for art and artists to enrich our lives.” – John Di Leonardo, Canadian visual artist/poet


MINDSHADOWS: A Canadian Poetry Anthology featuring poetry by 81 members of The Ontario Poetry Society and focusing on themes confronting those times and events which plague our thoughts: Swallowing Confusion, The Night’s Not Long Enough, Casting Shadows, and Drinking the Light. Edited and compiled by Debbie Okun Hill. Illustrated by Elana Wolff and Katerina Fretwell. Beret Days Press, 2015, ISBN 978-1-926495-14-9 See foreword here.

Available soon from Beret Days Press!

Published by Beret Days Press


Tarnished Trophies, an 88-page collection of sports themed poems, published by Black Moss Press  as part of its First Line Poetry series,  2014, ISBN 978-0-88753-528-4

Tarnished Trophies (Black Moss Press 2014)

Published by Black Moss Press

“In these well-crafted, wide-ranging poems, Debbie Okun Hill introduces a variety of athletic disciplines, as well as touching on the seasons of both humankind and those of nature. Her poetry encompasses the joy of winning and the despair of defeat. Cheers and tears. But, always, the judicial use of original metaphors makes this collection a rewarding experience for the reader: There’s gold to be found here. Go for it!” – Norma West Linder, Author of Adder’s-Tongues.

For 2015 tour dates, check here.


EnCompass I, a 75-page anthology featuring the work of Canadian poets Josie Di Sciascio-Andrews, Debbie Okun Hill, Bernice Lever, Lynn Tait and Jan Wood; Beret Days Press, 2013, ISBN 978-1-897497-73-9

Published by Beret Days Press

Published by Beret Days Press


Another Trail of Comet Dust: Poems Pulled from Earth, The Stanza Break Chapbook Series #43, Beret Days Press, 2011, ISBN 978-1-897497-53-1 24-pages

Published by Beret Days Press

Published by Beret Days Press

Swaddled in Comet Dust: A Collection of Award-winning Poems, The Stanza Break Chapbook Series #27, Beret Days Press, 2008, ISBN 978-1-897497-10-4 24-pages

Published by Beret Days Press

Published by Beret Days Press


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