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Influences (1)

A recent question from a Facebook friend prompted me to think about the poets I first read many years ago, and the ways they influenced my own writing and how I think about poetry. So here are three who came immediately to mind. These are poets I read when I was just beginning to take … Continue reading Influences (1)

Published

Where poetry comes from

Recently I came across that line by William Wordsworth about poetry having its origin in “emotion recollected in tranquility.” It had been so long since I’d read Wordsworth that I couldn’t recall the context of that phrase, and suspected that there was a bit more to it. The quotation is from the Preface to the second edition … Continue reading Where poetry comes from

No free verse?

I may have bitten off a rather large mouthful in tackling this subject. What I meant to do was reflect on some things I’ve read recently about the structure of poetry, but as I keep reading I’m growing further enmeshed in the larger and very sticky question of what makes a poem good. But to … Continue reading No free verse?

Elise Partridge

I was sorry to hear of Vancouver poet Elise Partridge’s death in late January. Not because I knew her—I didn’t—but because, even though a poet’s words will still exist after she dies, that death ensures that there won’t be any more words than what’s already out there. And by all accounts, it would have been a privilege … Continue reading Elise Partridge

A great big Collage Party

You never know what you’ll encounter at Winnipeg’s New Music Festival, and this year the festival organizers incorporated visual art in some unexpected ways. For instance, in the lobby there was a table where concert-goers could sit down and make a collage. There was a bin full of old record album covers and drawers full of materials … Continue reading A great big Collage Party

Literature and place

A book that I’ve recently added to my must-read list is Joan Thomas’ new novel, The Opening Sky. Lately several people have told me I should read it, because it’s a well-written story but also because parts of it take place in the neighborhood where I live. There’s a particular pleasure in reading a book … Continue reading Literature and place