Kate Rogers

Poet, Essayist, Reviewer

BELOW: Kate with Art Bar Co-Director Michelle Hillyard, June 2023


(Update January 2024)

Kate Rogers’ poetry has recently appeared in The Pinhole Review and Where Else: An International Hong Kong Poetry Anthology. She won first prize in subTerrain magazine’s 2023 Lush Triumphant contest for her suite of poems entitled, “My Mother’s House.” The title poem from the suite first appeared in Pinhole Poetry. To read “My Mother’s House” please see the website section, Links to Poems, and Creative Non-Fiction and Reviews.

Kate’s work has also appeared in Looking Back at Hong Kong (CUHK Press); the Sad
Girl Review; Word City Monthly; The Beauty of Being Elsewhere; the Quarantine
Review; Poetry Pause
 (League of Canadian Poets); Juniper; Voice & Verse
Magazine; Cha: An Asian Literary Journal; Understorey Magazine; World Literature
Today and Writing for Peace,
 among other publications.

Kate’s reviews have appeared in Arc Poetry Magazine, Prism International; The
 (Wilfred Laurier University) and Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. Kate is a Co-
Director and frequent emcee for Art Bar, Toronto’s oldest poetry series and is a member of the League of Canadian Poets.

Kate re-patriated to Canada in late 2019 after two decades teaching tertiary level
language-through-literature, creative writing, cultural studies, academic and media
writing at City University of Hong Kong and for Toronto’s Centennial College China
Program in Shanghai and Changsha.




About Kate Rogers’ 2024 poetry collection

The Meaning of Leaving

(available February 16th 2024 from AOS Publishing):

As the title suggests, the poems in The Meaning of Leaving riff on the broad theme of departure—from an abusive marriage, a homeland and an adopted home. The themes of the nature of home, homelessness and belonging run through the poems as the speaker reflects on returning to her Canadian birthplace.

In “Derrick’s Fist,” the speaker reflects on living through an abusive relationship and finding the strength to leave it.
In the poems set in Toronto, such as “The Nose-Ring Girl,” the speaker considers the lives of vulnerable people in the city, and how her perspective has shifted in her years away from Canada. In poems such as “Migration,” Rogers highlights her admiration for the defiance of young pro-democracy protesters passionately fighting for freedom in her second home, Hong Kong. There’s also a naturalist side to The Meaning of Leaving, which walks the line between gratitude for the natural world and sombre reflections on the vulnerability of nature during this era of climate change.

This collection—like any good book—is part of a larger conversation with artists, living and dead, in many disciplines. Some poems begin with epigraphs from beloved favourites, such as the dissident Chinese poet Bei Dao and Pablo Neruda, while others respond to work by Michael Ondaatje and Elizabeth Bishop. Other artists—such as Sean Connery, Diane Arbus, Carlos Morales—inspire poems in both negative and positive ways.

Praise for The Meaning of Leaving:

The Meaning of Leaving lies in the pain of staying, and the frequent reality of being driven out—by force and violence, or by one’s own recognition that a hope has been betrayed. This can be out of a parental home, the dream of affection, a marriage, a city (Toronto, Hong Kong), or the human-insulted loveliness of the earth. Rogers’s agile narrow-gauge free verse flashes from song to description, to narrations that always fascinate, whether with exquisitely phrased details of beauty or scenes of pain etched in sharp brief strokes.
—A. F. Moritz

These powerful poems grip the heart. The poet writes about intimate partner violence (a late husband whose fist was “a shadow puppet on the wall”) with bravery, vulnerability and strength. The poet bears witness, too, to other forms of violence including political oppression in Hong Kong and China and homelessness in Canada. This inspiring collection also sparks hope and joy, as rich in imagery as “a field of white ginger lilies.” with the cosmopolitan insight of a Canadian who has spent over two decades living in Asia.
—Marsha Barber

Leaving in these poems is not only leaving your country of birth but leaving the old self that did not have the confidence to leave. Leaving is power, to be wielded towards wisdom and liberation. In the face of all struggles—personal, cultural, and political— the poet like…“a sparrow, wingtips / meeting in prayer, / drags the dark robe / of twilight / across the pavement.”
— Bänoo Zan

Kate won first prize in subTerrain magazine’s 2023 Lush Triumphant contest for her suite of five poems entitled, “My Mother’s House.” The title poem from the suite first appeared in Pinhole Poetry. You can read it here: https://pinholepoetry.ca/4171-2/

Kate’s notification via text from subTerrain magazine that she had won their contest. Congratulations to Kate, Laura Fukumoto and Diana Manole!!


Kate won first prize in the subTerrain 2023 Lush Triumphant Contest for her suite of poems, “My Mother’s House.” “John and the Book of Kells” won first prize in the Trinity College, Dublin Book of Kells Competition (November 2019). “The Giraffe-bone Knife Set” was short-listed for the ROOM 2019 Poetry Contest.

Kate’s work has also appeared in the 2017 Montreal International Poetry Prize Anthology, The Guardian (UK), and the Asia Literary Review (UK), among other publications.