Ahava Shira is a local author who writes for her own joy and becoming. She grew up in the vibrant city of Montreal, and began writing at twenty when she traveled across Europe by herself with a backpack and a journal. Her reason for writing was to understand herself, explore her relationships and to share with others: “I was looking for a way to understand my experiences, wanting to explore who I was. I had so much joy and love for the world that I wanted to express it”. 16 years ago, Ahava moved to Salt Spring searching for a sense of community, which she has found.
At Gulf Islands Secondary School, you can find Ahava holding writing workshops and an after-school writers group. Through a collaboration with Connecting Generations, Artists in the Class (Salt Spring Arts Council) and ArtStarts (BC Arts Council), Ahava devotes her time to providing a safe place where students can write freely and share their writing with others, something she wishes she’d had in her youth. In High School, students are exposed to immense pressure and vulnerability. They are taught to only write in certain ways, and to fit in certain boundaries. Ahava finds it exciting to offer greater freedom where students can be themselves by using the written word. She aims to build confidence in those who doubt themselves, and has made an incredible difference at the school.
Author of a book of poetry, Weaving of My Being (1998) and a poetry CD, Love is Like This (2010), Ahava received her doctorate in Language & Literacy Education from UBC. Her poems and essays are published in several academic anthologies and journals.
Currently, Ahava is working on a book of poetry with the pending title of The Directions of Joy, in which she is exploring “how we can turn towards suffering to find joy”. Her other project is turning her PhD research on the Gates of Loving Inquiry into a book. Founder of the Centre for Loving Inquiry, Ahava continues to be a strong presence in the community by helping those of all ages through her writing.
Learn more about her work and words at www.lovinginquiry.com.