CoCoPoPro: West Coast poet Steven Price

April 2, 2013

We're kicking off our coast-to-coast guided tour of Canada's poets in the west. Poet Steven Price makes his home in Victoria, BC. His first collection of poetry, The Anatomy of Keys (Brick Books, 2006) won the Gerald Lampert Award and was named a Globe & Mail Book of the Year. His first novel, Into that Darkness (Thomas Allen), was published in 2011. Omens in the Year of the Ox is his second poetry collection (Brick Books, 2012).

See more details below

1-CoCoPoPro_Omens_Header_600

We're kicking off our coast-to-coast guided tour of Canada's poets in the west. Poet Steven Price makes his home in Victoria, BC. His first collection of poetry, The Anatomy of Keys (Brick Books, 2006) won the Gerald Lampert Award and was named a Globe & Mail Book of the Year. His first novel, Into that Darkness (Thomas Allen), was published in 2011. Omens in the Year of the Ox is his second poetry collection (Brick Books, 2012). 

NPM13_Poem1_steven_price_600

Q&A with Steven Price

What are you reading right now? 

Madness, Rack, and Honey, the collected lectures of Mary Ruefle. Ruefle writes with a remarkably clear eye about the nature of poetry; this is a bracing, unpretentious book about the art and, necessarily, about the world as well. “In life, the number of beginnings is exactly equal to the number of endings… in poetry the number of beginnings so far exceeds the number of endings that we cannot even conceive of it.”

Madness, Rack, and Honey proved nearly impossible to find—I had to telephone a bookstore in Ontario to have one of the last two copies posted out to me. What would we do without the brick-and-mortars? (The book has since been reprinted, it seems, and is readily available again).

I’m also reading Notes On The Mosquito: Selected Poems by the Chinese poet Xi Chuan. “In a crowd of people some people are not people.” “Struck down a shadow, stood up a man.” A few years ago Xi Chuan came to the University of Victoria as a poet-in-residence; it’s been a pleasure encountering his work on the page after all this time, and hearing a different music in it.

If you wrote a memoir what would it be called? 

Man In The Dark. At least according to my wife.

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

The central bus depot in Washington, D.C., I suppose. When I was a graduate student living in Charlottesville I would travel back and forth to Baltimore, where my wife was then living. That station seemed a gallery of human oddity, from the street-hawkers to the homeless with their black plastic bags to the sorority girls to the uniformed guards eating burgers alone by the windows. Nothing made sense and all of it was edged with such strangeness. I lost hours of my life watching the crowds ebb and flow there.

Why should people read poetry?

For pleasure, one imagines.

What's one poem everyone should read?

“Albino Pheasants,” by Patrick Lane. It’s haunted me for fifteen years now—a rich, dazzling beauty of a poem. You can peer down inside it and the thing is bottomless.

You can listen to Steven Price reading some of his own poetry here, and check out Brick Books' amazing audio podcast archives.

_______

*Edited from the original post, published on the LPG blog


Discuss


comments powered by Disqus