It was an unexpected surprise to find myself on the longlist for CV2’s 2018 Young Buck Poetry Prize (for real—a friend texted me about it and I was like huh??? I am??? Always a fun way to find out nice things).
The longlisted poem, “Just Desserts,” is something new and uncharacteristic for me. It’s a straightforward narrative lyric poem, which might be a safe zone or sweet spot for some, but is usually an uncomfortable and risky space for me.
It’s a welcomed push to continue with the new and to take personal risks—not only formal ones.
This past December while I was back in Toronto over the holidays (fun fact: Toronto winters and Iowa winters... just as bleak*), I had the exciting opportunity to: 1) participate in my first podcast, 2) talk about one of the most memorable books of poetry I’ve read in recent years, 3) do it with three other poets I love and respect.
The Rusty Toque’s ON THE LINE (click to listen) hosted by the incredible Kate Sutherland, operates like a recorded bookclub and is one of the best poetry podcasts around. Past episodes have included discussions about Safiya Sinclair’s Cannibal, Solmaz Sharif’s Look, and Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky with Exit Wounds, among others.
I got to chat and ramble about Anne Boyer’s Garments Against Women with the sharp and insightful (and just plain fun to talk to) Rudrapriya Rathore and Jacqueline Valencia. We reference a Harriet interview with Anne Boyer several times, and it’s a great read. Find it HERE.
*but not as bleak as Montreal winters
A profound congratulations to Noor for winning the 2017 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers--it was such an honour to be recognized alongside of her. Noor is one of the kindest, most gracious people I know and hearing her reading from her selection, “The Mistress and the Ping,” seemed to stop time. I can’t wait to hold her future collection in my hands.
Thank you so much to The Writer’s Trust of Canada, RBC, and award founder Carolyn Smart for a beautiful, generous, and career-affirming experience.
PS: The entire finalists reading was recorded! The magic of technology. You can listen to Tyler, Noor, and myself read from our poetry HERE!
For the month of April, poet and novelist (and friend!) Jennifer LoveGrove is the Writer in Residence over at Open Book. I was lucky enough to answer some questions on poetry prompts and exercises as part of Jennifer's ongoing series.
Check it out HERE.
+ Happy national poetry month!
I, I, I,
Poet. Chapbook: Interzones (2015). Currently: All Day I Dream About Sirens (2019).