"poignant" "contemplative" "intricate and masterful" "rich and plucky" "wonder-inducing"
"articulate and beautiful" "lucid and intelligent" "an uncommon eye"
Waiting for the Albatross (Oolichan Books, 2015), my fifth poetry collection, is at the printer and will be available shortly. It features found poems I composed using fragments from a diary my father wrote in 1936 when, at age 21, he embarked on his first job as a deck hand on a freighter. It also includes a few prose vignettes from the diary and photos taken during the trip.
I have other poems forthcoming in the anthologies Alone Together (eds. Wayde Compton and Renee Saklikar) and Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace (eds. Carolyne Wright and Mary Baylor (US: Lost Horse Press), and in the Fall issue of Prism International.
Poetry fascinates me. The math of it - that meticulous balancing of ideas, through image, metaphor and other devices; and the music of it - meticulous, again, that selection of words and their order until they sing. It's the kind of fascination that makes it not just possible, but essential and delightful (even when agonising) to spend hours, days, weeks and more honing a poem until it's as close to right as I can get it. Then, after all the scribbling and tossing away and starting all over again; after all the tinkering and tweaking - the relief (if I'm lucky) of still being moved by the finished work. (As Horace said, "If you want to move me to tears, you must first feel grief yourself.")
As a reader, these same things fascinate me - but in reverse order. First, the elation when my initial experience of a poem is its unique melding of sound and sense so that, one way or another, it opens my heart, my mind, my eyes. Then, the fun of sussing out the technical devices the poet used so well they slipped modestly into the background, allowing the poem as a whole to work its magic.
(Heather Rhodes photo)
My latest full-length books are:
- In Fine Form (co-edited with Kate Braid) available from your local bookstore and from Caitlin Press.