CoCoPoPro: Ignite and the Awakening of Desire

April 22, 2013

Finally--a poem about sex. Of course, the collection that this poem comes from is about much more than that, but (happily) there's no doubting the erotic charge here. Ignite (Signature Editions, 2013) is a brand-new collection of poetry by Ottawa poet Rona Shaffran. These poems tell the story of a couple who make a miraculous comeback from a state of disconnection and despair to desire and ... well, find out for yourself.

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Finally—a poem about sex. Of course, the collection that this poem comes from is about much more than that, but (happily) there's no doubting the erotic charge here. Ignite (Signature Editions, 2013) is a brand-new collection of poetry by Ottawa poet Rona Shaffran. These poems tell the story of a couple who make a miraculous comeback from a state of disconnection and despair to desire and ... well, find out for yourself.

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Q&A with Rona Shaffran

If you wrote a memoir what would it be called? 

Dust Flares into Breath (taken from a line in the poem "The Coming of Light" by Mark Strand) 

Where is the oddest place in which you have been inspired to write a poem?     

I recently woke up in the middle of the night with lines for a poem running though my mind. I lay there, worried the inspiration would be lost by morning if I went back to sleep. I grabbed a piece of paper and pen from my bedside table, and wrote the lines with no lights on, so as not to wake up my husband and our golden retriever. In the morning, I could barely decipher what I had written in the dark, but, gradually, I was able to stitch it all together into a poem.     

Why should people read poetry?

For busy people, poetry is perfect because a poem can be read and savoured in quick bites. Yet, it encourages us to pause and to reflect.  It has the capacity to conjure up a spell that amazes and startles us, that can make the tiny hairs on our arms stand up when we recognize some emotional truth or resonance in the words of a poem. In my work, that human connection is central. 

What's your guilty pleasure (when it comes to reading)?

I sometimes choose the longest line at the supermarket, so I can snatch a read of the tabloids while I wait.

When did your interest in writing poetry start?

While delayed at the Rome airport, chatting with the woman sitting beside me, I learned about some islands in southern Italy.  My curiosity was kindled, and that curiosity quickly became what can only be termed a calling to go there. And when I did, from the first moment I arrived, I felt I had come home. The landscape mesmerized me so much that I was inspired to write.     

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Born and raised in Montreal, Rona Shaffran now lives in Ottawa, Ontario. Ignite (Signature Editions, 2013) is her first published collection of poetry. It tells the story of remarkable things that can happen in a broken relationship between a man and a woman, healed by a very physical process of self-discovery. Find out more about Rona on her website

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Edited from the original post, published on the LPG blog


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