DiscoverVerse: Thomas Leduc + Slagflower

In today’s ALU DiscoverVerse feature, we welcome Thomas Leduc to discuss his first book of poetry Slagflower (Latitude 46), the story of a fourth generation son of miners and his journey beyond the world underground. Leduc tells us more about how the collection came together by digging deep into his working history and experience within the mining industry and how the process of writing the book served to teach him about the collective strength of small towns and the publishing industry.


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An Interview with Thomas Leduc

All Lit Up: What did you learn writing SlagflowerThomas Leduc: Writing Slagflower I learned so much about small towns and the hard-working people in them. I have poems about the several generations of miners I come from and poems about some of the people I’ve met and worked with. I also dug deep into my own twenty plus years of working and wrote poems that reflect the many stages one goes though in their career. Not to mention this is my first book of poetry and there was a learning curve with all the editing and publishing world. When I finally came to the light at the end of this collection, I had a lot more respect for the people who came before me and the people working 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 journeyTL: What an interesting question. Like all good quests I would be on a journey to save the world or mankind from itself. For a weapon, I would have spade, shovel, to represent my heritage. I could use this as a staff, a spear, a shield, a walking stick and I could also use it to bury the evil doers that get in my way. Next, I would have a magic satchel. Anyone who knows me knows I’ve always had a satchel with me to keep my books and writing in. Whenever I need anything it always seems to appear in my magic satchel. Last and most importantly, I would bring my family and friends. No quest can be fulfilled without help. I feel I have lived a great quest already and continue to do so, and it’s only because of the support and help from the people around me. ALU: Where do you draw inspiration from outside of poetry?TL: I get inspiration from all aspects of my life. I write about my family and my past. I write about my work in the mining industry and its unique environment. I also write about current news stories and pop culture. Some of my favorite poems are when I can combine these ideas, like the poem The Cage. This poem is about my dad going down into the mine and comparing it to our family vacation to the CN Tower. 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? TL: This year the [League of Canadian Poets’] theme for poetry month is A World of Poetry. I would use this strange rock we live on as a writing prompt, this pale blue dot. Good luck to all you poets out there and be sure to share your poems with those around you. 

A poem from Slagflower

 Stepping Stones(For Stephanie) On the seventh dayGod was skipping stonesacross the universe andone landed in our back yard.My daughter picked it up and placedthe misshapen, stone heart into hertiny hands. She leaned in close and whisperedthe secret wishes of a child.She is teaching mehow to speak with the earthhow to decipher the art of nature.For her, minerals are memoriesevery stone tells a storyevery rock speaks poetry. Words unearthed from thedriveways of friends and familyfrom hiking paths and riverbedssouls picked from the soiland named by a child. In her room she piles themin the shape of a graveinvites each stone to whisperits secrets while she plays hovering above like an angel.So, this is heaven. If she could, she would pickthe moon from the skyand slip it into her pocketand I would let her.* * *
Thomas L. Leduc is the descendant of four generations of miners and works at an industrial supply company in Sudbury. His poetry and writing has appeared in anthologies and magazines in Canada and the U.S. Thomas was Poet Laureate of the City of Greater Sudbury between 2014 and 2016. He is President of the Sudbury Writers’ Guild. He lives in Sudbury with his wife and two children.* * *During the month of April, you can buy Slagflower and any of our featured DiscoverVerse books for 20% off! PLUS: FREE shipping!Keep up with us all month on  Twitter,   Instagram, 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