Friday 31 January 2020

Leah Callen : part four

How important is music to your poetry?

My poems used to be far more flowery and abstract and their music was louder. Lately, I go for more subtle sounds, but the sonic quality is always something that separates prose from poetry to me. I will choose a word for its ping within the poem as well as its meaning. People always say poems can be like little spells or chants if the music is hit upon well. But like anything, it can be slight or heavy. Playing with that dynamic is half the fun of being a poet.

Thursday 30 January 2020

emilie kneifel : part three

How important is music to your poetry?

i learned to speak french phonetically, so i am always noticing inflection, sonic overlap, so-called puns (though i think there’s more to wordplay than kitsch), etc. because my brain is still attuned to their significance. i think it’s still waiting to learn something from them.

let me explain. a phoneme is the smallest perceptible unit of sound that distinguishes word A from word B in a particular language. e.g. my mom often says (and okay i also sometimes say) “hate” instead of “eight.” in english, that h sound is a phoneme — see how lil “h” changes the meaning of an entire word? — but in french it isn’t. my mom can’t really hear the difference (this is because when hearing babies acquire language, they have to begin to ignore insignificant sounds to be able to hear the juicy important ones) but, being bilingual from birth, i can. being able to notice this kind of minutiae is probably a clue as to why incremental sound is so important to me. not because i’m trying to be cutesy, but because, at the level of the word, minute sonic differences actually create entire identity shifts. just a huh! just a huh.

Wednesday 29 January 2020

James Dunnigan : part four

What poets changed the way you thought about writing?

I have to admit, few poets have. There are many novelists: Balzac, Faulkner, Sebald, Tolstoy. I think a poet is better served reading other kinds of writing, novels, nonfiction, encyclopedia etc, and viewing other media, painting, film, sculpture, installations, so on so forth. This is finding what poetry can do by understanding first what other art forms can do; finding your way to the edges of poetry from the outside rather than the opposite. This I think is what Anne Carson does and what makes her work so boundlessly appealing to so many people. From Eros the Bittersweet onward, she often sources the form and tone of her work outside of what is generally thought to be ‘poetic’, even when she draws it from philology which while it studies ancient poetry is hardly a ‘poetic’ business. In a world where many people think of a poem as a kind of little clockwork machine, the pleasure of which is in figuring out the mechanism, formal, ideological or otherwise, she has not only electrified and digitized the machine, but, in fact, seems to be getting rid of the machine altogether in favour of the raw current or electrical signal.

Otherwise as was the case with Dr. Carson I think the most important poetic encounter of my life so far has been with the ancients: in my case not with the Greeks but with one particular Roman poet, Virgil, whose Aeneid single-handedly convinced me to start studying Latin, woefully belatedly, in my undergrad years. Virgil’s epic is an electrifying treatise on the concept of ideology in the Althusserian sense, operatic, tragic, brutal as iron and told in lines as heavy and ductile as gold. It also saved my life.

Tuesday 28 January 2020

Chris Banks : part two

Has your consideration of poetry changed since you began?

This is a great question. I feel like I understood more about poetry fifteen years ago than I do now. I started out as a deeply lyric, meditational poet who used narrative as the pilot-light of every poem. Now, I like poems that do not mine memory so much as the imagination. The imagination is much more important to me now. Every poet after the first few books has to ask themselves: what do I do when I run out of the past? Out of childhood experiences? It can become a crisis of voice and some people never get past it. My answer, of course, is when you run out of the past you are left with the goods. My poems have become much more surreal, more associational, more mischievous, more wondrous. I love all my books and I am very proud of them. However, I am much more interested in creating a surprising experience, one less rooted in a particular time or place, for a reader nowawdays. Who knows where my poems will lead me next? I just follow where my imagination leads me.  

Evelína Kolářová : part five

What do you find most difficult about writing poetry?

The absolutely most banal thing – finding time to work on my writing. Escaping the real life and finding time and place to write.

Monday 27 January 2020

katie o’brien : part two

How does a poem begin?

a turn of phrase, wonky spelling, or clever pronunciation gets stuck in my head and won’t let me forget about it. I play.

Priscilla Green : part two

What do you find most difficult about writing poetry?

The vulnerability it entails. A lot of myself goes into my prose, but it’s all mixed in with the other stuff – the people in my life, society, etc. A poem, however, is all me, in the most genuine and undisguised form I can ever exist.

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.

Evelína Kolářová : part four

How do you know when a poem is finished?

When I finish writing it, the poem has a halo of inner coherence. Nothing is missing from the whole picture. However, this does not mean that fragmentary poems are not finished. Quite the contrary. A finished poem does not require to have new concepts introduced to it and/or the former concepts within it changed.

Monday 20 January 2020

katie o’brien : part one

katie o’brien is a poet, community worker, queer activist, and Netflix enthusiast originally from St. John’s, Ktaqamkuk, on unceded Beothuk land. they are the founder and editor of blood orange, an experimental poetry tarot. a peal of thunder, a moment of (The Blasted Tree, 2019) is their third chapbook. katie dislikes lying, sings a lot, and doesn’t kill bugs.

What are you working on?

in late 2019, I decided to stop dreaming about a project that I’d been mulling over for a long time and actually jump in: I launched an experimental poetry tarot called blood orange. the idea is to publish a poem for each of the cards of the tarot, both upright and reversed, and I’m amazed at the positive reception it’s garnered online. I’m already scheduling poems into 2021! so, I’m currently working on reading submissions, editing pieces, corresponding with the phenomenal collage artist doing visuals for the online deck (Hannah Reilly), tinkering with website code, and figuring out how to make the whole thing financially sustainable (if you’re stoked about the project, you can find and support us on Patreon!).

in terms of my own writing practice, I’m really in love with concrete work right now. I published a chapbook with The Blasted Tree last year, and I think it may be the beginning of a full-length collection, if I can find anyone interested in publishing 100 pages of weird musical squiggles.

Priscilla Green : part one

Priscilla Green is a Canadian writer and poet. Her work has appeared in a number of literary journals, including, most recently, Spadina Literary Review and Vaughan Street Doubles. She lives in Toronto.

How did you first engage with poetry?

I’m not sure I know. As a child, I used to collect poems – whenever I chanced upon one I liked, I would copy it down in a little notebook I kept. At about the age of thirteen, I discovered the Romantic poetry and fell in love with it. I learned how to play the guitar too, around the same time; it was in an attempt to write a song that I wrote my first poem.

Sunday 19 January 2020

Matthew Gwathmey : coda

What would you like to do that you haven’t yet done?

Write a poem about my grandmother’s tragic death. She was hit by a tree while driving her car home from church. The trees hug the byways in Virginia, but you still have to wonder about the chances. Anyway, a fairly local poet of some renown wrote a poem about it. Everyone loved it, the poem. Of course I always felt it was too detached from the person she was. So my goal’s to write a better one. Haven’t yet.

Shelly Harder : part five

What do you find most difficult about writing poetry?

Stripping away superfluity to leave on the page only what needs to be there. This process entails both a scrupulous probing of self, staring down what matters most to me so that I know the words are truthful, and careful abstinence from self-congratulatory performance. A verbal dazzle doesn’t matter. All that matters is what needs to be on the page. All that matters is that something that needs to be said is being said as truthfully as possible. This is hard to do.

Saturday 18 January 2020

Kitty Coles : part two

What are you working on? 

My first collection, Visiting Hours, which explores experiences of illness and recovery, is being published by The High Window in March this year so I’m currently making a few final tweaks to that. I’d been trying last year to write groups of poems which might belong together with a view to assembling some other pamphlets or collections but I’ve come to the conclusion now that I just have to write what I can and then try to find connecting threads afterwards, which is how I worked on Visiting Hours and my pamphlet, Seal Wife.

Friday 17 January 2020

Leah Callen : part two

How do you know when a poem is finished?

I stop reworking a poem when it just feels right. I might tinker with punctuation, line breaks, and diction for a while. I might come back to a draft months later when I wake up one morning and realize a stanza needs cutting. I might rework it in a different way after a rejection just to see how that goes. Editing is all about choices and sometimes time gives insight. But eventually it just feels complete, like there’s nothing more to be done. At some point you stop trying to bake a pie that’s already being served. You stop knitting a mitten that’s being worn. End scene.

Thursday 16 January 2020

emilie kneifel : part one

emilie kneifel is a sick fish, goo fish, they fish, blue fish. find 'em at, @emiliekneifel, and in Tiohtiáke, hopping and hoping.

What are you working on?

i really, really struggle with art’s relationship to the ego, which, in its fragility, creates an illusion of scarcity; viz., "I am the only artist making the only art, a method which I invented while living in a fully-furnished vacuum of, you guessed it, my own creation. (And I have to keep saying this, otherwise I will melt.)" it makes me feel not cut out for being an artist in any kind of public way. because i feel most whole when my ego dissolves, when i am purely giving/ sharing/ touching someone who needs to be touched. i think a lot about platonic touch, how rarely we are held by someone who is not asking anything of us (one of many reasons why i am obsessed with people who do hair). i do think art has the capacity to platonically touch, to look in the eyes, to create ego’s opposite abundance. i need to at least hope that it can. so i am working on making art that will maybe convince me. this includes writing letters and emails and poems to and with friends, especially my dear friend, scientist and writer nivretta thatra, continuing my work as an experimental critic, which is how i first started publishing, and also creating (ooh! this is the first time i’ve talked about this ~publicly) a kooky video interview series with my pal and photographer nadia davoli. because this is supposed to be fun! and i have choked way too many times on the implication — vibrationally similar to pretending to forget someone’s name in high school — that because this “person” in the ““scene”” doesn’t know who i am, i am not worth knowing! i want to shudder-dance the gross off my body! like a big and soaking dog!

Wednesday 15 January 2020

James Dunnigan : part two

How did you first engage with poetry?

Scope and vastness (not necessarily length) being two things I am inordinately fascinated by, I only got turned on to poetry when I got the sense that it could do things on as large and deep a scale as a great novel, great film or scripture (most of which is poetry, but I didn’t know this at the time). The closest I ever got to enjoying poetry in my adolescent years was when I found a copy of the Qur’an in Arabic and French at Dawson College’s library and began to, with the help of other translations and often transliterations (Arabless as I was and still am), piece the text together aurally as well as narratively. Surahs Ar-Rahman, Ash-Shams, An-Nur and Al-Balad contain tremendous poetry which I know I will never experience the way many Muslims or native Arabic speakers do. I still have a verse from Ar-Rahman pinned to my kitchen wall now which says something along the lines of “all that is on earth will [one day] disappear”: consolation at least in the instances where things on earth are bothering you, and a healthy reminder of where all of us must one day go: away. In English, it was my introduction to things like Paradise Lost and Othello, which caused my break into poetry, that and especially the poets of the early XXth century: Pound, Eliot, Williams—H.D. only much later, as is often tragically the case. It was all downhill (uphill?) from there.

Tuesday 14 January 2020

Evelína Kolářová : part three

What are you working on?

Apart from my studies, which occupy me for the most of my time, I am working on organisation and planning. Those are both crucial for me. As a part of my writing progress, the plan is to get organised and start working on new writing.

Monday 13 January 2020

Brian Henderson : part five

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

Well, one touchstone for me has been Dean Young’s The Art of Recklessness : “Some things must be made opaque to be seen.” Or: “The impossible is the first necessary condition of any faith.” Maybe I just look at title on the cover: The Art of Recklessness. (Though in the book he argues that every chance appearance needs to have a consequence, his emphasis I think is wrong: every chance appearance is a chance appearance: entanglements might or might not ensue.) But in the end, for renewal, I go back to music.

Sunday 12 January 2020

Matthew Gwathmey : part five

How does a poem begin?

A poem for me begins with a snippet of something, usually an image, however fleeting. I’m definitely a collector and arranger, definitely without some overall scheme or concept. Most times, I have no idea what a poem is going to be about when I’m in the thick of it, and then it turns out to be about my family! I was pleasantly surprised how many “family” poems worked their way into my book. They just appeared, like my kids.

Shelly Harder : part four

What other poetry books have you been reading lately?

I’ve been savouring chapbooks from Baseline Press’s recent launch, including Nisa Malli’s Remitting and Síle Englert’s Threadbare. Other books that have grabbed me at the jugular and refused to let go are Kirby’s This Is Where I Get Off, Tom Prime and Gary Barwin’s A Cemetery for Holes, and Emma Healey’s Stereoblind.

Saturday 11 January 2020

Kyla Jamieson : coda

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

The ocean is my favourite poem.

Kitty Coles : part one

Kitty Coles’ poems have been widely published in magazines and anthologies and have been nominated for the Forward Prize, Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Her debut pamphlet, Seal Wife (2017), was joint winner of the Indigo Dreams Pamphlet Prize. Her first collection, Visiting Hours, will be published in 2020 by The High Window.

How did you first engage with poetry?

Through nursery rhymes and my mum reciting ballads like ‘Sir Patrick Spens’ when I was very young. I’m still more interested in how poetry reaches us when it’s heard than when it’s read off the page. For me, the words need to feel right in the mouth and have a rightness to their sound and rhythm.

Friday 10 January 2020

Leah Callen : part one

Leah Callen is an emerging poet with an MFA in creative writing from the University of Victoria, BC. Her work has appeared in Barren Magazine, Vallum Magazine, Kissing Dynamite Poetry, and Contemporary Verse 2. Her poem is coming soon to a Twin Peaks anthology by APEP Publications called These Poems Are Not What They Seem. And she is a contributing editor of poetry with Barren Magazine.

How did you first engage with poetry?

I started writing highly-charged, erotic poems about sex, god, and poppies in high school because my hot hormones had to spill out somewhere. A lot of the time it was on the page. I felt great freedom in such self-expression, and I was also studying singing so music and poetry naturally went hand in hand. The funny thing is my wild word collages were unappreciated by my first high school creative writing teacher and I dropped the course. Another teacher saw something in me and tried to grow it by publishing my poems in a class chapbook. Who knew that years later I’d do two university degrees in creative writing? You should always follow your own art.

Victoria J Iacchetta : coda

How does a poem begin?

As each day passes, and I look back on things I’ve written weeks, months, or years ago, I find it’s increasingly difficult to really understand how my poetry takes form. Of course my words are intentional, and most of the time I begin a poem with a general objective. But the process of getting from A to Z, I rarely track, or map out.

I’m an artist at heart, and I’ve found it’s always best to let things just take their own direction. When it comes to my creative outlets, like painting, sketching, or writing poetry, I enjoy the freedom of letting my work develop along the way.

With that said, I usually have a few lines floating around in my head already that force me to start thinking a poem to life. So, typically, I just start with getting that initial idea on paper and use that as a jumping off point. It’s not unlike me to change the entire beginning of the poem once I’ve gotten to the end.

Thursday 9 January 2020

Amritpal Singh Arora : part five

How does a poem begin?

For me, a poem typically begins with an idea, a memory, a simple observation or certain tension. Often these present themselves as an opening line or refrain. I typically allow myself to mull this over for a few days and before I put pen to paper. My aim, then, is to capture the feeling this initial idea has elicited in me and try to put this into words.

Wednesday 8 January 2020

James Dunnigan : part one

James Dunnigan is a poet, scholar and fishmonger from Montreal. His first book of poems, The Stained Glass Sequence, won the Frog Hollow Chapbook Competition in 2018. A second chapbook, Wine and Fire, is forthcoming with Cactus Press.

Photo credit: Luc Robitaille @ Robitaille Photo

How does a poem begin?

With words. I’m really being serious. The best way to find if not an opening line then an opening into a potential poem, I find, is a method I call the prise au vif, or ‘catching raw’. It’s not my method exactly but one I’ve learned to practice over years of discussion with poets Bryan Sentes and George Slobodzian. One vivid example of this method in practice, to my memory, was an afternoon when I was sitting with George on his balcony one summer, the both of us sunburnt, drinking beer. George spots an unsettlingly large wasp in the pine tree in front of us. He points this out to me saying something like “man, look at those wasps”. Then he sort of smiles and starts to reword it out loud, slowly: “wasps among the pine cones (…) wasps/ among the pine/cones (…) wasps among/dry pine cones (…) under afternoon airplanes” sort of playing with it, and if it’s good enough he’ll put it down on paper. The observation or thing observed doesn’t even have to be “poetic” in itself. You don’t need to be in a heightened state to get there, though we both certainly had something of a glow on that afternoon. It’s just a technique you learn, like embroidery or filleting a fish or mindfulness or jumping turnstiles. It’s the articulation of it, the deployment of it in language, via the notational system of the line, that makes it poetry.

Tuesday 7 January 2020

Evelína Kolářová : part two

Why is poetry important?

Literature, and consequently poetry, should always be highly regarded for its ability to express human experience. Unlike other forms of art, it uses language as a medium for the articulation of human experience. If we want to articulate something, one of the best ways to do so is with language. Literature provides a critical picture of the world, provides us with an opportunity of self-reflection and progress by pointing out certain issues, and with an opportunity to enrich language. Poetry specifically is important for its use of figurative language and for the possibility to create an architectural masterpiece by experimenting with forms and structures while simultaneously not imposing them on us. A poetic view of the world is important as well – a poet’s worldview. We need poets and their view for their ability to observe the world through different perspectives and perhaps for their ability to express concepts which one is able to see but seldom notices.

Monday 6 January 2020

Brian Henderson : part four

What other poetry books have you been reading lately?

I’m just, belatedly, picking up James Tate, can you believe it? Viper Jazz, wow, what a great title!

Sunday 5 January 2020

Matthew Gwathmey : part four

How important is music to your poetry?

Music is of the utmost importance to my poetry. I’ll often sacrifice meaning for a good sound. As a failed jazz drummer, I believe in sound: rhythm, tempo, beat, meter, pattern, accent, stress, alliteration, assonance, consonance, euphony, cacophony, all of it. Reminds me of a bad joke. What do you call a musician’s best friend? A drummer. Get it? Because drummers aren’t actual musicians… So, what do you call a poet’s best friend? Music. Logic kind of falls apart here…

Shelly Harder : part three

How important is music to your poetry?

I can feel and think poetry only as a form of music. Texture, dissonance, tension, rhythm, melody – not only in terms of the materiality of the words, taut plop and click on tongue, but also in terms of the progression of concept, narrative, emotion, image. When composing a piece, I’m always listening for the reverberations of sounds and ideas, the microtonalities, unexpected resonances.

Saturday 4 January 2020

Kyla Jamieson : part five

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 have workshop burnout, so no. I think it can be detrimental to open your work up to too many sources of input. But I love to be in dialogue about ideas, and am lucky to have a partner who’s a writer and a generous reader, as well as friends who are great writers, actors, and artists. I also have an online post-concussion syndrome community that I’m deeply grateful for. I don’t know how I’d have made it to where I am without creative and disability community.

In terms of how I work poems, I typically do a lot of the writing and editing in the notes app on my phone. I’m not attached to this method, but I’m grateful that this was how I was working when I got my concussion, because since my injury my eyes have really struggled to follow a line of text across a page, and keeping my lines short on a narrow phone screen allowed me to read my own work.

Friday 3 January 2020

Victoria J Iacchetta : part five

How important is music to your poetry?

Music is important to poetry in the same way its important to life in general – it serves in so many ways as a source of inspiration, support, and influence. Music can be so incredibly poetic, sometimes it stops me in my tracks. I’ve had a couple poems published that were immediate reflections on songs I had just heard, so I’d say it’s vital.

Thursday 2 January 2020

Amritpal Singh Arora : part four

What other poetry books have you been reading lately?

I’m currently reading a few great books by some wonderful Canadian poets. They include Heft by Doyali Islam, Port of being by Shazia Hafiz Ramji,  Ceremony of Touching by Karen Shklanka and a great debut by Jasmin Kaur titled When you ask me where I’m going

Wednesday 1 January 2020

James Schwartz : part four

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

My output since 2011 has been fairly steady, publishing chapbooks and anthologies with indie and small presses. I recently added several poetry collections and essays to Amazon Kindle and continue to write for The Good Men Project.