Neil Surkan is the author of the poetry collections Unbecoming (forthcoming Fall 2021) and On High (2018), both from McGill-Queen’s University Press, and the chapbooks Their Queer Tenderness (Knife-Fork-Book, 2020), and Super, Natural (Anstruther Press, 2017). He lives in Calgary.
Photo credit: Luca Surkan
What are you working on?
Since my second collection, Unbecoming, comes out this fall, I’m still dwelling in that book (copy edits, etc). But I’m starting to feel a weird stomach-flutter again, which mostly comes from reading with an eye for craft/sequencing (for instance, John Elizabeth Stinzi’s chapbook Plough Forward the Higgs Field, one brilliant long poem, gave me such a rush. The way it accumulates contexts, spans theory and family, and churns through so many registers got me wondering what it would feel like to write a chapbook-length poem in a similar way. And that got me savouring the fact that I may never know how that feels.).
I’m also currently mulling over the feeling of running on empty, how a poem might explore that feeling, whether poems always explore that feeling.