Thursday, 18 March 2021

Jessi MacEachern : 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?

I meet with a group of writers — once in parks and living rooms, now online. It’s always an immense pleasure to receive a query by e-mail or text: “writing group this week?”. They’re an assortment of Montreal poets and fiction writers, fantastic individuals I am honoured to call friends, whose work I absolutely adore. Fortunately, they are also generous readers and sharp editors. Many of them appear in the acknowledgements of my book, for the poetry would not have taken shape without their insistence that there was, in fact, something there. 

In my advice to other writers, I am constant in this: you must have someone with whom you can exchange work. I have been fortunate to have so many kind individuals, in and out of university workshops, with whom this exchange has been mutual and thrilling. It is crucial that another pair of eyes helps you separate the good from the bad, the almost from the absolute, the pristine from the garbled. 

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