Tuesday 27 December 2022

Sarah Ens : part one

Sarah Ens is a writer and editor based in Treaty 1 territory (Winnipeg, MB). Her writing has appeared in Prairie Fire, Arc Poetry Magazine, The New Quarterly, Contemporary Verse 2, Poetry Is Dead, Room Magazine, and SAD Mag. Her debut collection of poetry, The World Is Mostly Sky, was shortlisted for the 2021 McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award and the 2022 Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. Flyway is her second book of poetry.

How did you first engage with poetry?

My first encounters with poetry happened in church, with hymns and scripture as the points of entry. I remember, during congregational singing, being struck by figurative language—how it can give shape to abstract ideas or amplify the enigmatic—and wanting to repeat certain lines over and over. “Let Thy goodness like a fetter / bind my wandering heart to Thee,” for example, made me excited about simile and how good a verb can feel.

The first poets I engaged with on the page were ee cummings and Di Brandt. Poems so passionate they eschewed the rules of punctuation appealed deeply to my teenage sensibilities! Brandt’s questions i asked my mother, that slim, bright, potent book, also opened the idea that maybe I could write poetry. 

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