DiscoverVerse: Scott Nolan + Moon Was a Feather

Around his 40th birthday in 2015, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Scott Nolan set out to replace smoking cigarettes with walking ten kilometres a day—the catalyst that began his poetry writing. Below he tells us about his debut collection Moon Was a Feather (J. Gordon Shillingford) that evolved from those long walks through the Winnipeg streets. Read our interview with Scott and the poem “Yellow Lights of Moray” from his book.


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During the month of April, you can buy any of our featured  DiscoverVerse books for 20% off (+ we’ll send you a set of three poetry bookmarks so you’ll always find your place.) 

Interview with Scott Nolan

All Lit Up: What did you learn writing Moon Was a Feather?Scott Nolan: What I learned from writing Moon Was A Feather was to slow down, be present and available, still and quiet and try to capture a bit of what is happening around me. 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? SN: Interestingly what is worked the most effectively throughout my career is the lack of planning. I can only speak to my own experience here; however, by relinquishing some of that control amazing opportunities and ideas presented themselves naturally and organically. I think I prefer to let the adventure choose me. ALU: Where do you draw inspiration from outside of poetry?SN: I draw inspiration from everything: the natural world, the environment, the atmosphere, sirens, music, trains, traffic, and everyday noise pollution. I find I’m at my best when I’m moving in a forward motion. Birds and their sounds and songs are also an inspiration. 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?SN: Try capturing a moment like the way you would take a photograph, write down what you hear and feel and see, taking account of what’s happening around you. Try putting into words the way something makes you feel.

A poem from Moon Was a Feather

Yellow Lights of Moray
A man in a trench coat
speaks into a cellphone.
A woman in black
dances with the wind.
Across town
sirens are wailing.
I watch it unfold
from the pedestrian bridge.
Clouds form, the sky looks like a carousel.
River’s doing what rivers do.
Saddle up Green Arrow,
pedal till my shadow is long.
Under the yellow lights of Moray,
here since 1995.
Clouds part and open to the heavens.
People doing what people do.

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Scott Nolan
is a songwriter, poet, multi-instrumentalist from Winnipeg, Manitoba Treaty One territory, with nine albums to his credit. His songs have been recorded by Hayes Carll, Mary Gauthier, Watermelon Slim, and Corin Raymond, among others. Long an avid reader of poetry, Nolan turned to writing it in 2015, when he started walking ten kilometres a day in his quest to quit smoking. Nolan discovered melodies and rhythms in the shuffling of his feet, and began writing short poems inspired by reflections on his own difficult past, as well as about people and places in his neighbourhood.

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During the month of April, you can buy Moon Was a Feather and any of our featured DiscoverVerse books for 20% off! PLUS: FREE shipping!Keep up with us all month on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook with the hashtag #ALUdiscoververse.  BONUS: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. DiscoverVerse: Choose Your Own Poetry Game