How Najwa Zebian uses poetry to connect with herself, her students and nearly one million Instagram followers

Zebian is a Lebanese-Canadian poet whose words have been widely shared across social media and have even been turned into tattoos.
Najwa Zebian's latest collection of poems is called Sparks of Phoenix and it's out now. (Farrah Benni)

"These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb." Those words by poet Najwa Zebian have been widely shared across social media and have even been turned into tattoos. It's one of her most popular lines, from the opening page of her second poetry collection, The Nectar of Pain.

This week is poetry week on q and we're celebrating the power you can pack into just a few words. For Zebian, words have changed her entire life.

When she was 16, she emigrated to Canada from Lebanon and started teaching high school in London, Ont. She saw echoes of her own experiences in her students' lives and started writing poetry to try to connect with them.

Zebian now has almost one million followers on Instagram and has published three collections of poetry: Mind Platter, The Nectar of Pain and Sparks of Phoenix.

She joined q guest host Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe from London, Ont., to tell us more about her story and her latest of collection of poems.

Click 'listen' near the top of this page to hear the full conversation.

Produced by ​Chris Trowbridge

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