Showing posts from March, 2015


Priska Wettstein, courtesy of Red Edge Images From Vigil/Vestige Ecstatic and liable to rapture in the hours before dawn. We’re beckoned to the lake — to the ruin. An omen. Our salvage—shivering by the weeds. Revenant, we falter toward the good— for the smallest amount of the most worthless thing. Sleepless and with shy sweats and the cold we’re night-blind by. After-dream terrors of a slaughterhouse— or a labyrinth akin to a slaughterhouse. Lured. One by one. Our frights and nerves. Sandra Ridley is the author of three books of poetry: Fallout (Hagios Press), Post-Apothecary (Pedlar Press), and most recently, The Counting House (BookThug). S he knows how to use a compass. Read our conversation on landscape, language and poetry here .

See You in Departures: Nick Thran in Conversation

Nick Thran photographed by Peter Sinclair Shortly before he moved to Montreal, Nick and I -- strangers then -- exchanged emails about prospects for work in the city. By the time we met, several months later on a leafy green twilit evening at The Word Bookstore, it seemed he'd always been here.  SUSAN GILLIS: How did you come to poetry in the first place? NICK THRAN: Two things: good teachers who enthusiastically introduced me to good work, and moving around a zillion times with my family. The latter seems more and more key to me in retrospect: growing up, any identity I was constructing about myself that was too attached to a specific place, situation or other person was quickly scuttled. I don’t say this to be maudlin. Starting out, I just gravitated to writing that was less reliant on a slow, intricately developed narrative. I sought out words that kicked up as much dust when they arrived as when they left. Poems had them. SG:  You’ve moved around a fair bit as

Widen the Space

What a hard winter it has been, new losses in the poetry community nearly weekly -- Miller Williams, Elise Partridge, Philip Levine -- and just two weeks ago Kingston's Joanne Page, clear-minded fierce generous spirit, who showed me more than once how to stay the course. My city is falling apart. Atrocities all over the world crowd the news. At the same time, life surges forward: births, new books, and just last week two jays feeding each other sunflower seeds in the shrubs under the tall spruce. What a thing it would be, if we all could fly. But to rise on air does not make you a bird . I missed Ouyang Jianghe's poem "The Burning Kite" when it first appeared in Poetry in June 2011, translated by Austin Woerner. But I'm very glad to have discovered it today, together with the translator's notes : " 'The Burning Kite' strikes me as a prime example of [what Jianghe calls] an 'empty' poem—bare architecture inviting the reade