Archive for the ‘Interview’ Category


Interview: The Next Chapter

October 20, 2014

Here’s me talking to Shelagh Rogers about my position as Poet Laureate of St. John’s. The interview was recorded in late summer at the Writers at Woody Point festival in Western Newfoundland. Shelagh’s long been a supporter of my work, and I respect her immensely. Listen at this link (I am the last five minutes or so of the show.)



Interview: Canadian Poetries

January 21, 2014

Canadian Poetries is starting a new mini-interview series for poets and they asked me to kick it off. Here you go.


Interview: Me and Elisabeth de Mariaffi

March 19, 2013

My partner, Elisabeth de Mariaffi, is also a writer, but of fiction. Here we are being interviewed as a literary couple for the Atlantic book blog The Book Fridge. It’s kind of a neat idea, asking the halves of a couple the same questions. There are a few other artistic pairings out there I’d like to hear from in this way.



Fun: The Next Big Thing

February 7, 2013

Poet and editor Don Share has tagged me in a self-interview meme wherein you answer a few questions about your upcoming book or book-in-progress. I almost never do theses sorts of things, but I do have a few books in the mental oven, so I thought it might be a good exercise to try this out. I’d been debating whether to write about my ill-fated-in-that-it’s-taking-forever novel or the kids book I have coming next year or the next book of aphorisms, but given that Don’s a poet, I’m going to go with that last option.

What is the working title of the book?

Grace Notes (this is VERY much a “working” title… the book is years away)

Where did the idea come from for the book?

When I wrote my first book of aphorisms, Glimpse, I took my notes out of about 10 years of journals; the little bits and pieces that hadn’t been used and were hiding between the notes that became poems. After I whittled those down, I found myself writing new aphorisms specifically for that book, and I’ve never really stopped. I’m at about 200 now, and once I have about 300 good ones, I think I’ll be ready.

What genre does your book fall under?

That’s a good question. Aphorisms straddle the line between philosophy and poetry, showing elements of, and claiming heritage from, each. There are those out there who think aphorisms constitute prose, but I most commonly refer to them as “poems without all the poetry getting in the way”.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

How I wish this were applicable. But I generally think Brad Pitt should play me, on account of how similar we look.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

This is a collection of distilled poetic essences, ranging from the witty to the strange to the profound.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

It’s still ongoing, and given the nature of the pieces–being drawn from many years worth of journals–there is no set length. Each book of aphorisms took as long as my life currently was/is.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I started collecting my aphorisms because when I read at Princeton the American aphorist James Richardson had noted a tendency toward the aphoristic line in my previous books, and suggested that poke around in my journals to see if I had missing aphorisms there. Then the Irish poet Paul Durcan spoke favourably of them after a reading I did in Dublin, and he suggested I should publish them as a volume. Once Glimpse came out, I was shocked at how well it was received and how well it sold. Most poets would kill to sell half a print run of their book, and here is Glimpse ripping through the prints. Anyway, since I am still writing the aphorisms, seemed like a no-brainer to do another book, so long as it can match the quality of the first one.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The first book, Glimpse, was called “the book of poetry most like to appear under a Canadian Christmas tree” because it’s quite popular with non-poetry people as well. Who’d have guessed?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

ECW is my publisher, if that’s what this means. Poets don’t have agents. Unless we’re talking about real estate or wine.

Make up a question you think is pressing in way of poetry today.

Why everybody gotta be hatin’ all the time?

Tags: I’ll tag Daisy Fried, Robin Richardson, Paul Vermeersch, Shanna Compton, and Zach Wells.


Interview: ARC Poetry Magazine

June 12, 2012

This is an interview I did with Rob Winger over at ARC magazine. We cover the last three or four books and a wide range of mostly serious things. Hope you like.

I wasn’t exactly concerned with truth, so much as the essence of truth, as I had experienced it. People think a lot of things they don’t believe and believe a lot of things they don’t put much thought in to. That firing of the mind still happens and the moment of having had a thought, right or wrong, is still important, even if you talk yourself out of it later.

There were “truths” in Glimpse I had thought my way toward, like walking against a strong wind, and then distilled down to something substantial and succinct. There are others I just declared, and the declaration itself was brief and pithy and raw enough to be, in some way, “truthful,” if only through its arrogance. It has the power of confidence behind it, which is really just what turns fiction into truth.


Audio: Interview at 49th Shelf

May 23, 2012

Here’s me talking with Julie Wilson of 49th Shelf about my new book Whiteout. Julie and I have known each other for years, having run the two biggest book blogs in Canada, but this is the first time we’re on tape together. THAT WE KNOW OF…


Interview: CBC Weekend Arts Magazine

April 3, 2012

Here’s me talking about Whiteout on the CBC Weekend Arts Magazine. The St. John’s launch for Whiteout is tomorrow night at the Ship!



Audio: CBC Weekend Arts Magazine

March 29, 2012

I’ll be appearing on CBC’s Weekend Arts Magazine on Sunday, April 1, the launch date for Whiteout (and a day for fools), at 8:30am (ouch), to talk about my new book with host Mack Furlong. Tune in and let me know what you think!


Audio: The Once

November 15, 2011

Here’s a bit I did on CBC with The Once, the Newfoundland folk band that turned a poem from my upcoming book, Whiteout, into an incredible song. The interview ran on (Canadian) Thanksgiving Day, and contains two fulls songs from their album, including the one I had a hand in, “Song for Memory”. Hope you like it!




Radio: CBC’s The Next Chapter

May 23, 2011

I’ll be on CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter today with Shelagh Rogers, talking about Glimpse. I imagine this is the last bit of publicity the book will get, but what a great way to go. Please tune in at 1pm EST to listen!