Emerging out of his abandoned scraps of writing, Cam Scott's ROMANS/SNOWMARE(ARP Books) exudes a love of language and experiment. Cam joins us in the All Lit Up DiscoverVerse today, sharing more about building a collection of words as a source of endless inspiration, being moved by sound and its various combinations, and more. Read on for the full interview and a poem from the collection!
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An Interview with Cam Scott
All Lit Up: What did you learn writing ROMANS/SNOWMARE?
Cam Scott: ROMANS/SNOWMARE started as a recollection of my own abandoned scraps of writing, in response to the sense that I was always scribbling but never completing anything, never arriving anywhere. So I simply transcribed the morsels of language that I’d been collecting and declared that the poem at once. Since then I add at least one sentence of interest each day, with the intention of continuing this writing indefinitely. Insofar as I continue to grow the poem, I feel like this project has taught me how to write when I have nothing in particular to say, and without end or inspiration.
ALU: If you were a character in a Choose Your Own Adventure story, what kind of quest would you be on? What three things would you have with you on your journey?
CS: As one might imagine, the journey would be circuitous and stalling. In a technical sense, I expect that I’m disqualified from questing because I am basically incapable of personal transformation, and my syntagmata are more grammatical than narrative. But let’s say that I’m an implacably wholesome detective, newly arrived in a small town perturbed by the murder of its model citizen, where nothing is as it seems. I’ll need coffee, a microcassette recorder, and a dark secret from the past.
ALU: Where do you draw inspiration from outside of poetry?
CS: I’m moved by a world of sound, which guides my writing and precedes any concept of what I might be doing otherwise. New and experimental music, the sonic envelope of cities, I’m quite open in this regard and sounds tend to blur in interesting combinations. Less fancifully, the world is clearly brutal, so a necessary encouragement comes from emancipatory political projects of the past and present. I think that poetry alludes to a world of meaningful work and distributed leisure that is nowhere the case—yet—and ought to take a certain amount of inspiration from actual revolutions.
ALU: Help us with a poetry prompt for our readers. Can you come up with a writing prompt for our readers to write their own poetry?
- Pick a piece of instrumental music and a voice therein; write continuously whenever that instrument plays and hew as closely as possible to its decisions, stop when it stops.
- Write an epigram for your favourite poem.
- Record your dreams and title them after the day’s headlines for posterity. The more writing you can do for less, the better. Write down everything.
Cam Scott is a poet, critic, and non-musician from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Treaty One Territory. A chapbook, WRESTLERS, was published by Greying Ghost in 2017. He performs as Cold-catcher and part of the duo Swolowes, among many other projects, pairings, and collaborations.
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During the month of April, you can buy
ROMANS/SNOWMARE and any of our featured DiscoverVerse books for 20% off! PLUS: FREE shipping!
Play our Choose Your Own Poetry game where YOU are the narrator! Choose from multiple paths on the way to one ultimate goal: visiting your local bookstore to browse poetry. As you move through the story you will find poetry books to collect in your tote bag. There are a total of 36 poetry books to discover across the various paths with 12 possible endings. Which poetry collections will you find on your path?
Playing time: 1-2 minutes per path. To play, click the link below to start the download.
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