How did you first engage with poetry?
This is a favourite question of mine because it comes with a funny story. When I was in grade six we did a poetry unit in school that introduced me to the work of Canadian poet, Irving Layton. It was a poem called Song for Naomi, and this poem made me feel wild inside. We learned about literary devices using that poem and I vividly recall how I felt, trying to understand how it all worked, discovering how exciting language could be. But I was also really moved by the images in that poem too. I identified with the growing child; I was amazed by the combination of love and sorrow inside it. I wanted the poem to be mine so badly that I copied it down into a notebook and changed the title to Song for Shannon. I told my mother I was the author. It was after telling this lie that I started to try and write my own poems.