CoCoPoPro: The lyrical poetics of John K. Samson

April 14, 2013

Many of you may have heard of John K. Samson as a musician--he's the lead singer for the band The Weakerthans--but he's also the co-founder and managing editor of one of our member publishers, ARP Books. Once you've met John and get to know him a little you come to understand why he's so well known for his talent as a lyricist-poet--he's soft spoken, unassuming, and a fantastic storyteller; much more the poet than the rock star you'd expect.

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Many of you may have heard of John K. Samson as a musician – he’s the lead singer for the band The Weakerthans – but he’s also the co-founder and managing editor of one of our member publishers, ARP Books. Once you’ve met John and get to know him a little you come to understand why he’s so well known for his talent as a lyricist-poet – he’s soft spoken, unassuming, and a fantastic storyteller; much more the poet than the rock star you’d expect.

Lyrics and Poems, 1997-2012 in 2012 in conjunction with the release of John’s latest solo album, Provincial. The book features lyrics from the new album as well as past Weakerthans albums, including Fallow, Left and Leaving, Reconstruction Site, and Reunion Tour.


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Q&A with John K. Samson 

What are you reading right now?  
I'm reading Michael Crummey's tremendous new book of poetry, Under the Keel, along with The Selected Poems of Mary Ruefle and Bodies in Motion and at Rest by the undertaker/poet/essayist Thomas Lynch. And Willie Nelson's autobiography.          

Why should people read poetry? 
They should only read it if they want to, and if they do they likely will.  

Who are your favourite poets? 
I like all of them, but lately I'm very fond of Marina Tsvetaeva and Don Paterson

What's one poem everyone should read? 
I like "Listen, Put on Morning" by W.S. Graham. I read it in an anthology when I was a kid, and I still read it often. 

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John K. Samson is the singer and songwriter for the venerated indie rock outfit The Weakerthans. He lives in Winnipeg, where he’s also the managing editor and co-founder of ARP Books.

You can read more about John in articles from The Province and the Globe & Mail.

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Edited from the original post, published on the LPG blog


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