What the Poets Are Doing

Edited by Rob Taylor

What the Poets Are Doing
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In 2002, Nightwood published Where the Words Come From: Canadian Poets in Conversation, a successful first-of-its-kind collection of interviews with literary luminaries like Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Avison, Patrick Lane, Lorna Crozier and P. K. Page, conducted ... Read more


Overview

In 2002, Nightwood published Where the Words Come From: Canadian Poets in Conversation, a successful first-of-its-kind collection of interviews with literary luminaries like Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Avison, Patrick Lane, Lorna Crozier and P. K. Page, conducted by “the younger generation” of poets of the day. Sixteen years later, What the Poets Are Doing brings together two younger generations of poets to engage in conversations with their peers on modern-day poetics, politics and more. Together they explore the world of Canadian poetry in the new millennium: what's changed, what's endured and what's next. An exciting “turn of the century” has evolved into a century characterized by social and digital media, the Donald Trump presidency, #MeToo empowerment and scandal, and Indigenous Truth and Reconciliation.

Should we look to our poets as our most articulate analysts and critics of these times? Are they competing with social media or at one with social media?

Poets in Conversation:

Elizabeth Bachinsky and Kayla Czaga

Tim Bowling and Raoul Fernandes

Dionne Brand and Souvankham Thammavongsa

Marilyn Dumont and Katherena Vermette

Sue Goyette and Linda Besner

Steven Heighton and Ben Ladouceur

Sina Queyras and Canisia Lubrin

Armand Garnet Ruffo and Liz Howard

Karen Solie and Amanda Jernigan

Russell Thornton and Phoebe Wang

Afterword co-written by Nick Thran and Sue Sinclair

Rob Taylor

Rob Taylor was born and raised in Port Moody, BC, and lives in Vancouver with his wife and son. He is the author of two books of poetry: The News (Gaspereau Press, 2016) and The Other Side of Ourselves (Cormorant Books, 2011). In 2017, The News was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, and in 2010 the manuscript for The Other Side of Ourselves won the Alfred G. Bailey Prize. He was the poetry editor at PRISM international in 2014–15. Rob has run a blog devoted to Canadian poetry, Roll of Nickels, since 2006. In 2015 he received the City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for the Literary Arts as an emerging artist. He teaches Creative Writing at the University of the Fraser Valley.

Reviews

“As a creative writing instructor, I’m finding so much in [What the Poets Are Doing] that I can share with my students to show the kind of lateral thinking involved in writing poetry, and that poetry isn’t written in a vacuum, but reflects and responds to the world we live in. ” ~ Shashi Bhat

Shashi Bhat

"What the Poets Are Doing is instructive. ... each [interview] brings forward, variously, vital questions, thoughts, and ideas related to writing practice, poiesis, the body, family, community, isolation, place, position, racism, sexuality, freedom, and survival. " ~ Deanna Radford, Arc Poetry Magazine, Fall 2019

Deanna Radford

 

“What the Poets Are Doing opens a door onto perspectives in contemporary Canadian poetry, and it’s apparent to me that the poets are asking of themselves, and of their readers, that imagination, above all else, greet the poems they are writing. ” ~John Pass, The Ormsby Review, February 22, 2019

John Pass

“If you think an entire book about the poetic process — chronicled through email interviews, no less — sounds depressing or dull, you are not alone. You are, however, delightfully mistaken… This gem of a book sees several generations open up on writing, loss and life, and is a riveting read, akin to stumbling on private letters between your most literary and intriguing friends. ”
~Tara Henley, Toronto Star, December 15, 2018

Tara Henley

Reader Reviews

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