Anne Bokma, Journalist, author & writing workshop leader
“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience,” wrote the poet Emily Dickinson. Anne shares her difficult journey of leaving a fundamentalist religion, as well as insights from her whirlwind year of experimenting with two dozen spiritual practices—from singing to solitude to going to a witch camp and heading out on a pilgrimage—and how they taught her to live more attentively and authentically in the world. All of us are on a spiritual journey, yet so often we neglect this essential aspect of our lives.
Anne Bokma is an award-winning freelance journalist, author, and writing coach. Her articles have appeared in many of Canada’s leading national magazines and newspapers, including The Toronto Star, Canadian Living, Today’s Parent, Broadview, MoneySense, and Chatelaine.
She is a regular contributor to The Hamilton Spectator, where her column, The Other Side of Midlife, runs twice a month.
Her work has been recognized with awards from the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors, the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Canadian Business Press Media Association, the North American Travel Journalists Association and both the American and Canadian Church Press. Her memoir, My Year of Living Spiritually: One Woman’s Secular Quest for a More Spiritual Life, was published by Douglas McIntyre in 2019 and won a Hamilton Literary Award for Nonfiction and the Kerry Schooley Book Award.
Anne is also the founder of the 6-Minute Memoir “speed storytelling for a cause,” an annual charitable event now in its 10th year, which features writers sharing tales on a common theme and which has raised more than $75,000 for various charities in her hometown of Hamilton, Ontario.
She is an active member of the First Unitarian Church of Hamilton and the proud mother of two grown daughters.