Em Kwissa

Author. Poet. Human.


Written Works

Em’s work has also been known to remain on the page. Her poetry is published in the anthologies The Song of the Heart and Eternal Portraits, and she has had short stories published in anthologies by the Poetry Institute of Canada. Over the course of her institutional education, she has garnered numerous awards for creative writing. She wrote her first novel at the age of fourteen and has been independently producing works of both fiction and non-fiction ever since.

Her memoir is available for download here…

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The Lanark County Live Poets Society (LiPS)

Em’s interest in spoken word began with Canada’s first rural slam poetry collective, the Lanark County Live Poets Society. Em was present for the birth of the scene and represented the collective at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word on three consecutive teams from 2009 – 2011. At the age of sixteen she became the group’s first slammaster, and is to this day a valued consulting member of the collective.

Solo Spoken Word

As an unaffiliated artist, Em has appeared at many events, both youth- and adult-oriented. She has been a featured artist at both the Toronto and Guelph Youth Poetry Slams, as well as at Ottawa’s female-only poetry show Voices of Venus. In 2010, Em featured in the spoken word showcase at Westfest, Westboro Village’s Festival of Music, Art & Life. She has opened for C.R. Avery, The Fugitives, Shane Koyczan, and The Mighty Mike McGee. In August of 2013, Em will be a Poet of Honour at YouthCanSlam, Canada’s first national youth slam in Ottawa. (For more information on YouthCanSlam, visit www.ycs2013.com.)


School Workshops

Em’s school workshop format is tailored to reach students in both middle and high school. These highly successful workshops endeavour to promote awareness of spoken and written word, to educate about the value of communication, and to push students to take command of their self-expression. Each workshop aims to be in tune with the goals of the educator, while at the same time offering students alternative methods of bringing their own unique presence into the classroom. Please see the “Media” page for a PDF of Em’s workshop package.


Em has been a keynote speaker at Interval House’s Where Is The Love? initiative, a summit aiming to engage youth to raise awareness about dating violence, gender equality, and healthy relationships. She has also been a feature performer at Take Back the Night events, and at protests and presentations at Queen’s Park in Toronto. In June of 2014, she gave a talk to the Ottawa Carleton District School Board support staff on how to better support abused youth in the school system.