Helen Bajorek-MacDonald

Place of Birth
Date of Birth
Home Community
Durham Region Background

Born and raised in Durham Region.

  • Educator
  • Writer
  • Ph.D. Candidate (University of Toronto, OISE, 2010)
  • M.A. in Canadian Heritage and Development Studies (Trent University, 2001)
  • B.Ed. (Queen’s University, 1997)
  • B.A. in Canadian Studies and English (Trent University, 1997)
  • Diploma in Legal Secretarial Science (Fleming College,1979)
Honours and Awards
  • 2009 Nominated by Trent University students for TVOntario “Best Lecturer Competition”
  • 2009 Nominated for Teaching Excellence Award, Trent University – “very highly ranked by the committee”
  • 2008 Nominated for Teaching Excellence Award, Trent University
  • 1992 Commemorative Canada 125 Medal for community service (Hon. Ramon John Hnatyshyn)
  • 1990 Volunteer-of-the-Year Award, Town of Newcastle
  • 1989 Recycling Council of Ontario Award
  • 1988 Citation of Merit, Town of Newcastle: “outstanding contribution through waste reduction education”
Literary Influences
  • I read widely and am influenced by poets, novelists, journalists, academics, critics, and contemporary ‘thinkers’ (particularly in relation to politics and global issues).
Organizations and Associations

Books / Anthologies:

  • "Polish Inscriptions on the Canadian Literary Landscape” in Exiles, Migrants, Diasporic Citizens. Polish Inscriptions on the Canadian Literary Landscape. Ed. Eugenia Sojka. (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2010).
  • Iron in the blood. The Bowmanville Foundry: one hundred years of innovation. (Bowmanville Foundry Co. Ltd., 2004)
  • “A Canadian passport” in Pens of many colours, 3rd edition, Eva Karpinski, ed. (Nelson Thomson Canada, 2002)
  • “Grand[m]other tongue” in Our grandmothers, ourselves: reflections of Canadian women. Gina Valle, ed. (Raincoast Books, 1999; 2nd edition, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2005)
  • “Turkey vultures” and “Winter Sunday breakfasts” in Peter Gzowski, the fifth [and probably last] Morningside Papers. (McClelland & Stewart Inc., 1994

Academic Reports, Articles in Journals [Refereed], Research Papers:

  • Meeting the needs of a leadership gap in Ontario schools: developing future leaders. The Register. Summer 2007, Vol. 9, No. 2. 19-22.
  • REACH 1 Report of the 2004-05 qualitative data collected (2005); Authors: Dr. John A. Ross, Sonia ben Jaafar, Helen MacDonald.
  • “Poles during WWII and its aftermath: from deportation & exile in Soviet labour camps to emplacement in Canada.” High Plains Applied Anthropologist. Vol. 21, No. 1, Spring, 2001. 62-89. [R]</li><li>“A view from the Hill – women’s march 2000” Forum, women’s issues journal of the Calgary Women’s Writing Project. Spring 2001. 8-12.
  • Frequent contributor to Frostline, publication of the Frost Centre for Canadian Heritage and Development Studies (Trent University, 1998-2001)
  • “Once upon a war time,” Canadian Woman Studies. York U: Vol. 19, No. 4. Winter 2000. 143-147. [R]
  • M.A. research on the topic “Post-WWII Polish immigrants to Canada; survivors of Siberian labour camps” featured in the Frost Report, Trent University, June 1999.
  • “Mapping memories: a journey between the generations of Polish inscription on the Canadian literary landscape,” AVANCER, The student journal for the study of Canada, 1998. 30-47.
  • “Heeding Rachel Carson's call: reflections of a home-making eco-crusader" in Alternatives: University of Waterloo; Vol. 20, No.2, 1994. 21-25. [R]
  • "Look Dick, look Jane" in Canadian Woman Studies: York University; Vol. 13, No. 3, Spring 1993. 94-97. [R]

Conference Papers – Lectures - Readings:

  • Have given many papers at conferences throughout North America on topics largely related to education and Canadian history, as well as have travelled several times to Poland and Ukraine to lecture on topics related to democracy and Canadian history and culture.
  • Have given readings of my creative writing in such venues as universities, arts centres, cultural centres, and public libraries.

Creative Writing & Exhibitions:

  • Eidolon: Photographs & Poems. Innovation Centre, University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) /Durham College, Oshawa, Ontario. Collaborative work with photographer Jean-Michel Komarnicki (2010).
  • “Over the bridge, our field” in Surfacing. Collaborative work of Helen Bajorek-MacDonald and Jean-Michel Komarnicki features Jean-Michel’s five images and Helen’s poetic responses to them (Dec. 2009/March 2010).
  • In Search of Shoes ...and other herstories: Photographs & Poems. Artspace on the Mezzanine, Clarington Public Libraries, Bowmanville Branch. Collaborative work with photographer Jean-Michel Komarnicki (2009)
  • Look and Where Colour Is: Photographs & Poems. Artspace on the Mezzanine Clarington Public Libraries, Bowmanville Branch. Collaborative work with photographer Jean-Michel Komarnicki (2008)
  • "Mapping Flesh with Stone,” poem won “most negative experience associated with saunas” category in the 2000 Sauna Writing Competition, Finnish Canadian Historical Society. In Raija Warkentin, et al, Sweating with Finns. (Thunder Bay: Centre for Northern Studies, Lakehead University, 2005. 146-147)
  • “Poor Birds” and “Sweating Stones,” poems in Signatures, an anthology, Ruth E. Walker, ed. (Writers’ Circle of Durham Region, 2002)
  • “Mapping Flesh with Stone,” poem in Sarmatian Review. (Houston, TX: Vol. XXI, No. 3, September 2001. 827-828)
  • “The Embroidered Album” (Forum, women’s issues journal of the Calgary Women’s Writing Project, Calgary: Spring 2001. 16-17)
  • “The Last Time I Saw My Mother,” (Sarmatian Review. Houston, TX, January 2001)
  • “McLaughlin Bay Meditative,” (lichen, Rabindranath Maharaj, et al, eds., Spring 2000)
  • Three poems featured in Diviners, Sharon Bray and Dawn Sebire, eds., (Hamilton, Winter, 1999)
  • Three poems featured in poetry anthology, Divaspeak, eds. Alana Mullaly and JoAnne. (Peterborough, 1999)

Magazines / Newspapers:

  • "Love and advice crossed the ocean on blue airmail paper,” (Toronto Star, Reader Forum, May 1999)
  • “Just count me out of the swiper generation,” (Toronto Star, opinion piece, August 1998)
  • “Why not put beauty and inspiration on the ceiling?” (Toronto Star, Talking Point feature, May 1997)
  • “Traveling softly?” (Earthkeeper, February/March 1994. 12-18)
  • “Arizona garbologist visits Ontario,” (Earthkeeper, July/August 1992, 6)
  • “So…you think you want to be an environmentalist,” (Earthkeeper, November/December, 1991 40-43)
  • “Re-usable menstrual pads?” (Earthkeeper, July/August 1991. 24-29)
  • “The RCO: averting the waste management crisis,” (Recover, Winter 1990/91. 17-18)
  • “Pulling Together: A Community Fights Whirlwind of Environmental Threats,” (Recover, Winter 90/91. 29-38)

Video Production/Exhibitions:

  • Our Grandmothers, Ourselves video production (2000) featured in “Legacies” of the Future (Joseph Carrier Gallery, Toronto; March – June 2005).
  • Our Grandmothers, Ourselves video production (2000) featured on CBC – Sounds Like Canada – International Women’s Day interview with Shelagh Rogers (March 07, 2005).
  • Our Grandmothers, Ourselves video production (2000) featured in Women of the Millennium forum, Trent University, and at Sisterfest, George Brown College (2001).
  • Our Grandmothers, Ourselves video production (2000) featured in Memory and Nature, an exhibition of works with The IRIS Group (McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Ontario. June 2000).
  • Long-term writing / broadcasting undertakings (1989 – present):

Editor and adjudicator: books, anthologies, [academic] journal

  • Feature writer/photographer for Durham Life/Oshawa Life news magazine
  • More Reflections, weekly column, frequent opinion and feature news writer, Orono Weekly Times
  • Occasional contributions to Arthur, student newspaper, Trent University
  • Weekly environmental feature on CKQT 94.9 FM radio, Oshawa
  • Weekly environmental column, Thinking Green, and occasional feature writer for Courtice News
  • Occasional contributions to feature column, Your Earth, in The Oshawa Times
  • Weekly feature column, Green Reading, in Canadian Statesman
  • Historical features in CUROS, monthly journal of Clarke Museum & Archives
Public Speaking Topics
  • Readings from my work
  • Lectures on topics related to my research
  • Canadian history (wide range with emphasis in immigration / women’s history)
  • Education