Connection Upon arriving at the University of Waterloo, in September 1979, the first established poets I met were Stuart MacKinnon and Rienzi Crusz (1925-2017). Both were librarians at the Dana Porter Arts Library. I recall Stuart easily: tall, greying, and always aware of the ineffable absurdity of bureaucracy—presiding over reference orientation for we “frosh.” But […] Read more.
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The Writer’s Corner
“providing writers with a homey retreat” Over the years, I’ve written in a variety of places: a tiny studio apartment in Brooklyn, a refurbished closet, a desk at a Wall Street brokerage (between tasks, secretly), and countless cafés. Today I write in an office that was originally the sleeping porch of a summerhouse built in […]
During my appointment as the 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2016-17), I was privileged to receive commissions to draft poems on subjects as royal as the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Order of Canada (1967) and as proletarian as the 100th Anniversary of the Great Bolshevik October Revolution that established the Union of Soviet […]
This room has only one, somewhat lackadaisical, heating vent; still, I tend to think of it as a hot spot in the house. It’s a chaotic little cauldron of work, all the surfaces roiling with books and notebooks and hard copies of manuscripts, articles I need or once needed or might someday need. Often, my […]
It’s important to mix it up. Sometimes I write in the lake. Sometimes I write on the Oaxacan coast with chickens on my hat. It’s important to try things. I like typewriters. Sometimes I write on a typewriter, in a car, on the highway of tears. Sometimes I write at a desk. Sometimes it’s important […]
Last week, someone asked me what I’d been reading lately. As I combed through a mental catalogue of literature I’d recently enjoyed, I realized that I’d actually listened to, rather than sight-read, the works I’d consumed over the past few weeks. This is a marked change from, say, ten years ago when I sight-read everything. […]
“less clutter is good for the creative soul” Where it is: My office is in the basement immediately under the master bedroom. This could be problematic when combined with my 5am starts because of our thin floors and my wife enjoying her sleep, but is actually perfect because I prefer to create in silence. It […]
The Wild Writers Festival: Poetry and Prose That’s Out There
The New Quarterly is proud to present the seventh annual Wild Writers Literary Festival on November 2-4th, 2018 in Waterloo, ON. Join us for a celebration of the feral and free and its expression in poetry, the short story, and everything in between. Create, learn, discover and share the art of groundbreaking writing.