Find out how writers think
An Interview with Souvankham Thammavongsa
QM: You’ve published three books in almost ten years, starting with your first, Small Arguments. What are you doing when you’re not writing poetry?
ST: Ten years is a long time to be caring about something, to be caring about doing something, isn’t it? In other fields, you’d have a lot of money by now.
I wrote and finished Small Arguments while I was an undergraduate at the University of Toronto. I ...
An Interview with Peter Midgley
Sharon Caseburg: What brought you to Canada? What were your reasons for staying?
Peter Midgley: I came to do a PhD at the U of A and got offered a job right after I finished. And well, here I am, and I guess now Edmonton is home.
SC: After all this time in Canada, do you still get homesick for South Africa?
PM: I do miss South Africa, but I miss the country of my birth, Namibia, too. I miss the melody ...
An Interview with RC Weslowski
In the realm of slam poetry, few have as long a resumé as Randy Jacobs, a.k.a. RC Weslowski. As a member of the Vancouver Poetry Slam community since its early days in the late ’90s, Weslowski has not only been integral to the longevity of Canada’s oldest poetry slam community, but he has also won over communities across the nation. Representing Vancouver seven times at national competitions, he has even ...
An Interview with Carmine Starnino
Tim Bowling: You set out early on, back in the mid-’90s, to be a poet and a critic. You’ve maintained a place in both worlds when many poets opt out of the critical side of things. Have you been pleased with the way you’ve maintained that balance?
Carmine Starnino: For the most part, yes. But I can’t say that I’ve had any choice in the matter. I have no opt-out button when it comes to writing criticism. ...
An Interview with Ken Babstock
Sharon Caseburg: Congratulations on last year’s Griffin Prize win for Methodist Hatchet (House of Anansi Press, 2011). Over the course of your career you’ve been nominated for or have won several prestigious Canadian poetry awards. What does the Griffin Prize win mean for you personally?
Ken Babstock: Thank you, Sharon. And we’re off! Already trying to walk a fine line between seeming gracious, humble, ...
An Interview with Johanna Skibsrud
Michelle Elrick: Though many people around the world were introduced to your work through your 2010 Giller Prize-winning novel The Sentimentalists, you have also published two books of poetry, Late Nights with Wild Cowboys, and I Do Not Think That I Could Love a Human Being, as well as a book of short stories, all masterfully rendered. Do you feel more at home in a particular genre? How do these different ...
An interview with John K. Samson
Clarise Foster: The introductory quotes to the book and epigraphs to several of the pieces in this collection are excerpts of poems: Alden Nolen, Patrick Friesen, W.H. Auden, Catherine Hunter. Clearly poetry has a substantial impact on your song writing — when did you become interested in poetry and how does it shape your creative process?
John K. Samson: Sure, I became interested in poetry at the ...
An interview with Méira Cook
Clarise Foster: A Walker in the City, your fourth collection of poetry, takes the reader on a wild jaunt in the company of some rather intriguing characters — a young walker/poet, Em, a crusty old poet, Kulperstein, the alter ego/creation of a deceased poet, Felix Kaye, and there is the poet narrator. I know this might seem an odd question to start, but how did you come up with names for your ...
An Interview with Jeanette Lynes
Clarise Foster: I understand you have a new book about to be released. What is the title? When will it be released? Where does this new work go that your previous work has not?
Jeanette Lynes: My new poetry book, Archive of the Undressed, will be released by Wolsak and Wynn this fall, 2012. This collection explores spectacles of embodiment — the body as spectacle within popular culture. Specifically, ...
An Interview with John Steffler
Sharon Caseburg: You noted in a 2010 interview with Open Book: Toronto that “wilderness or the uncontrollable and the unexpected are central subjects” in your collection Lookout. What is it about the uncontrollable that is desirable to write about? What do we learn about ourselves in exploring these wilder sides in literature?
John Steffler: I think that a thing that defines the human is our species’ ...