Sunday, 26 January 2020

Sarah de Leeuw : part one

Dr. Sarah de Leeuw, a Professor with the University of Northern British Columbia’s Northern Medical Program, the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, is a cultural-historical geographer and creative writer (poetry and literary non-fiction). She grew up on Haida Gwaii and Terrace, both in northern British Columbia. Her research, creative writing, teaching and activism focus on feminist anti-colonial social justice, especially in rural, remote, and marginalized geographies. Author or editor of 11 books and more than 100 journal papers and book chapters, de Leeuw has been short-listed for a Governor General’s Literary Award, has won a Western Magazine Gold Award and the Dorothy Livesay BC Book Prize, and holds a Canada Research Chair in Humanities and Health Inequities.  She oversees The Health Arts Research Centre at UNBC and is a Research Associate with the National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health (NCCIH). In 2017, de Leeuw was inducted into the Royal Society of Canada as a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists.

What are you working on?

A long poem, written entirely in couplets, entitled Lot. Infused with historical documents and settler anthropological stories, it’s about growing up on Haida Gwaii and the colonial geographies of British Columbia today.

IAN MARTIN : part one

Known primarily for leaving dishes in the sink “to soak”, IAN MARTIN is a multidisciplinary artist living in Ottawa. IAN’s work has appeared recently in, small poems 🍓, the DUSIE blog, G U E S T, BAD DOG,  ➰➰➰, talking about strawberries all of the time, chaudiere books, and Half a Grapefruit Magazine. IAN has published four chapbooks, most recently YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO KEEP THIS UP FOREVER (AngelHousePress, 2018) and PLACES TO HIDE (Coven Editions, 2018). When not writing, IAN makes small video games and complains online. [ ]

What are you working on?

I have a couple manuscripts on the go right now. Not sure in what format they’ll eventually appear. One is about futurity and one is about games. Both are about alienation and identity. I’m excited about these manuscripts because I’m trying out lots of new forms and ideas and getting messy and just having fun with it.

This is the first time I’ve started a manuscript with the concept first and started developing new poems specifically for it. Usually I just take a bunch of existing work and try to make it fit together. I think it’s neat. I think I’m a bit nervous because sometimes when I intentionally set out to say a specific thing, I think too hard and the poetry comes out bad. But I think it’ll all work out.

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Kitty Coles : part three

What do you find most difficult about writing poetry? 

I find it almost impossible to write to order or from prompts. It reminds me of school, where we were required to produce poems on demand, and makes my brain shut down. For me, a poem arrives either pretty much fully formed or not at all. I sometimes encounter subject matter that I think could make for an interesting poem but if that poem doesn’t then spontaneously emerge in my head – or at least the first few lines, from which the rest can flow -  I haven’t learnt any way of forcing it.

Friday, 24 January 2020

Leah Callen : part three

How does a poem begin?

I’m usually struck by a line or image or sound and I follow the stream of consciousness that goes from there. Sometimes, I’ll hear something in the news or I’ll experience something in my daily life and that will be a jumping off point for the poem. I’m trying to distill life down into a potent shot, but I’m also wrestling with my own reactions to life. I’m squeezing the proverbial lemon and trying to make juice. It isn’t always sweet. It can sting badly because so can life. But hopefully it hits the spot to a thirsty reader in some way. Do I sound ridiculous?

Thursday, 23 January 2020

emilie kneifel : part two

When you require renewal, is there a particular poem or book that you return to? A particular author?

right now i renew by rereading letters, letting the dog curl up on my stomach, lying in the purple snow. ie., regular-degular hermit behaviour. but when i wanna get art-horny, i eat those who stretch my understanding of what’s possible: my friend and writer nicole delcore-kaifetz, the writer elif batuman, the comedian julio torres, the only mr. rogers, sandi tan’s memories, sound-visuals by tierra whack, SASAMI, dorian electra, caroline rose. i watch poets jos charles and diana khoi nguyen break things. this video of tc tolbert and this poem by natalie diaz keep me safe.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

James Dunnigan : part three

How does your work first enter the world? Do you have a social group or writers group that you work ideas and poems with?

I mentioned George Slobodzian and Bryan Sentes: Bryan taught me literary criticism at Dawson College. George teaches at Dawson, too, but I only got to know him outside of school—in fact, mostly as the result of a visit to his cottage in Slovakia. As a poet, Bryan taught me how to read things. George, on the other hand, taught me how to write things. In their presence I am always the pupil first, and that will not change as long as they live.

I also make a point of regularly attending poetry readings in Montreal, open mics and such, in order to test the waters for certain poems, gauge my ability to perform them, and also, of course, in order to see what other people are doing in the city. I have been a regular attendant at the Accent Reading Series, a bilingual (now unofficially multilingual and definitely multivocal and otherwise polymorphous) event curated by Devon Gallant and Luc-Antoine Chiasson. There is always something interesting going on at Accent events. So far, it has evolved into a kind of meeting ground for poets and other writers from diverse horizons: sexagenarians and millennials, Concordians and McGillians, MAs and MFAs, Anglos, Quebecois and Acadians—it is always ready to accept more and different people, and is steadily growing for this reason.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Chris Banks : part one

Chris Banks is a Canadian poet and author of five collections of poems, most recently Midlife Action Figure by ECW Press 2019. His first full-length collection, Bonfires, was awarded the Jack Chalmers Award for poetry by the Canadian Authors’ Association in 2004. Bonfires was also a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Award for best first book of poetry in Canada.  His poetry has appeared in The New Quarterly, Arc Magazine, The Antigonish Review, Event, The Malahat Review, Prism International, among other publications. He lives and writes in Waterloo, Ontario.

What are you working on? 

I’m working a new manuscript called Deep Fake Serenade. It is a collection of poems that leap off from where my last book Midlife Action Figure ended. The poems are sometimes narrative, sometimes surreal and confront all kinds of topics like turning fifty, new love, and renewed optimism in the face of global catastrophes. It is an imaginative work for anyone who ever wished to wear “a halo of knowing” or to be the sparks flying when outside phenomena and inside impulses collide.