Former CBC senior producer Marsha Barber uses her journalism background to inform her poetry.

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By Ilina Ghosh

The poet W. H. Auden famously said, “poetry changes nothing.”

Ryerson University journalism professor Marsha Barber disagrees.

Barber, a former CBC senior producer and, more recently, an award-winning poet, says that through poetry—much like journalism—it is possible to affect social and political change.

“Good poetry connects deeply with people in the same way that good journalism can. And as such, I believe both have the potential for creating change in the world. I certainly hope that’s the case.”

The book launch for her second collection of poetry, All the Lovely Broken People, will take place Oct. 21.  Along with deeply personal poems, the collection includes work that deals with the wider world and larger social issues. Barber cites the example of Photo of the Doomed Man, a poem from this collection relating directly to her background in journalism.

Continue reading this story on the Ryerson Journalism Research Centre website

H.G. Watson was J-Source's managing editor from 2015 to 2018. She is a journalist based in Toronto. You can learn more about her at