Poets on Record

A special online series exploring the work and creative process of writers through video interviews. New short videos were released weekly throughout the spring of 2014.


Maureen Scott Harris

Poet and essayist Maureen Scott Harris was born in Prince Rupert, grew up in Winnipeg, and lives in Toronto. She has published two collections of poems: A Possible Landscape (Brick Books, 1993) and Drowning Lessons (Pedlar Press, 2004), which was awarded the 2005 Trillium Prize for Poetry. She has twice won second prize in CV2’s poetry contests. Pedlar Press published her third collection, Slow Curve Out, in fall 2012.

Winnipeg: A Strange and Familiar Landscape (2:43)

Maureen Scott Harris tries to explain why coming home to Winnipeg feels a bit like being in two places at once.

Starting Out: Angst and Uncertainty (2:20)

Maureen Scott Harris talks about her start in poetry and how she developed her love of language.

Growing Up in Winnipeg (1:39)

Maureen Scott Harris talks about growing up in Fort Garry and Winnipeg, the contrast between the country and the city, and why she ended up leaving Manitoba.

The Writing Life: Publishing, Editing, Managing, and Creating (3:04)

As a freelance editor, essayist, reviewer, writer and manager of Brick Books, Maureen Scott Harris has seen all sides of the writing life. In this video, she discusses the advantages and disadvantages of stepping outside of her own creative practice.

Travel: Writing in Tasmania (4:55)

In 2009, Maureen Scott Harris was the first non-Australian to win the WildCare Tasmania Nature Writing Prize for an essay she wrote titled "Broken Mouth: Offerings for the Don River, Toronto." In this video, Harris talks about her experience travelling to Tasmania and how she learned to feel at home away from Canada.

Inspiration: The Underwater World of Grief (3:31)

Maureen Scott Harris describes the differences between her first poetry collection A Possible Landscape, published by Brick Books in 1993, and her second Drowning Lessons published by Pedar Press in 2004. In doing so, she discusses inspiration, grief, and self-discovery.

Writing Community: How Conversation Strengthens Writing (4:25)

Writing can be a lonely business. In this video, Maureen Scott Harris talks about her long friendship with Jan Horner and how community has helped her as an artist.

Writing from Experience: What Makes a World (1:07)

Maureen Scott Harris talks about how her experiences living in Winnipeg have affected her writing.

On Editing: Lyrical Constraints (1:40)

Maureen Scott Harris is a self-declared lyric poet. In this video, she describes the effects of constraints on her writing.

Location: Packing and Unpacking (2:31)

Maureen Scott Harris discusses growing up in Winnipeg and the significance of location within her childhood.

Awards & Reviews: Poetry Awareness (1:33)

Maureen Scott Harris' poetry book Drowning Lessons was recently selected as one of four favourite Trillium books along with two novels by Michael Ondaatje and one by Margaret Atwood. Harris discusses her excitement at what this means for poetry.

Advice for Writers: The Death of the Poem (1:27)

Maureen Scott Harris describes her stylistic approach to writing and the constraints she observes.

Poem: Blue Willow (1:59)

Maureen Scott Harris reads her poem "Blue Willow" for Poets on Record.

Poem: Walking in Saskatchewan with Rilke (1:49)

Maureen Scott Harris reads her poem "Walking in Saskatchewan with Rilke" for Poets on Record.

Poem: The Tenth Anniversary of Your Death (2:42)

Maureen Scott Harris reads her poem "The Tenth Anniversary of Your Death" which originally began as an entry for CV2's 2 Day Poem Contest.


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