Showing posts from February, 2014

In Conversation with Sue Sinclair

I push open the door of the café , my glasses fog briefly , and Sue Sinclair materializes at a nearby table. It strikes me that each time I've met her--at a reading, a festival, in a café , at home--it's like this. There's the space, and then she's there in the space. SUSAN GILLIS: You work in several modes: lyric, academic, and an exploratory kind of critical writing—and I think it’s fair to include dance in this list. What first brought you to poetry? SUE SINCLAIR: I have many possible answers to that question, but one is contained in your second question:   a craving for lyric intensity.   Not all moments in life can be experienced as lyrically intense—it would be exhausting, at least for me.   But moments of lyric intensity are so enriching! How enriching, what do I mean?   I mean that such moments reveal the preciousness of particulars and the place of those particulars in the resonant structure that is the world--this is to pick up on Jan Zwicky’s

Sue Sinclair: A Poem

Sue Sinclair DAYS WITHOUT END Spring rages like a fire in the house, wants to eat every splinter. It forces its way into buds that explode like pockets of gas. Tears new life from the thin tissue of what was. The ground shivers. The trees ache under the pressure, look to the sky for a cool blue rain, a sign that God doesn’t sit idly by while creation burns, that He too endures the heat of H is love, the great fire He’s pushed upon the living.   (from Breaker , Brick Books 2008. Reproduced by permission) Read my conversation with Sue Sinclair here .

A Bit More Speaking

On poetry, witness and our difficult times: I n response to my earlier post, A Bit of Speaking, on Carolyn Forché's "Elegy," Stephanie Bolster reached out with some thoughts on these topics, including a poem translated from the Dutch by Sadiqa de Meijer, and a conversation ensued. Stephanie Bolster: Thank you for the moving post. I find it timely in two ways. Given that Carolyn Forché will be at Concordia in March , I've hauled out The Angel of History  for a reread; it's been a long time, and that book has been hovering on the edge of my consciousness for the past few years as I’ve been working on my Long Exposure project about Polidori’s photographs, among other things. I imagine that rereading will corroborate my sense that Forché’s work has significantly influenced my approach to the long poem, not to mention, of course, informed my understanding of the complex implications of “witness.” And the second timely aspect is that just the other n

In Conversation with Suzanne Buffam

Suzanne Buffam, by Ellen Dunn Half-close your eyes and squint into the shadow this side of the window. There she is, in the chair across from you; she's just said something, and the pith of it is still twirling, hovering in the air. SUSAN GILLIS: What first brought you to poetry? SUZANNE BUFFAM: I guess, like most poets, poetry brought me to poetry.  Reading it as a child--an ancient anthology of my father's I found lying around the house, I remember-- falling in love with the then-to-me-opaque music of poets like Shelley and Dylan Thomas, memorizing poems whose content escaped me almost entirely.  Also, I had some great teachers in high school.  Mr. Heath, wherever you are, I hated you with your clipboard roaming the halls and scolding me for my nail polish and hiked-up kilt, until I took your English Lit class in grade twelve and fell in love, through you, with Shakespeare and John Donne.  What else?  Heartbreak, melancholy, boredom?  "To fill a Gap--"

Suzanne Buffam: A Poem

Suzanne Buffam ALTERED PROVERBS People who live in glass houses should install blinds. Home is where the Walmart is. Where there’s a will there’s a lawsuit. Let she who is without sin take the first bong hit. In the kingdom of the blond the albino is king. Two in the bush is better than nothing. If you lie down with poets, you will get up with fleas. When in Rome stay at the Ritz. The road to hell wasn’t built in a day. Oil and water make the world go round. The grass is always greener over graves. To forgive is human, to forget divine. A journey of a thousand miles begins when the fat lady sings. Truth is stranger than the sum of its parts. Reproduced by permission of the author. Read my conversation with Suzanne Buffam here .