Writing Spaces: Susan J. Atkinson
This week in Writing Spaces, we take a look at the working space of Susan J. Atkinson, author of “The Dining Room Poem by Another Poet” in Issue #146.
My favourite writing space is in my living room. My day starts by sitting on the couch by my front window. This is where I write every day, with pillows propped against my back so that I can daydream through the window, while using the back of the couch as a quasi table top for my journal. We keep family photos on the window ledge and I always scooch them together to make space for my coffee mug.
I have a studio downstairs, crammed with poetry books, art and craft materials and every little bit and bob that I find on walks that can be saved and used, but my writing always starts in my journal and it always starts in the corner of my brown couch. In fact my studio has become more of a storage space than anything!
At this time of year I always keep cut tulips in vases, dotted around the house. I love the way their waxy petals flop open and their skinny stems become tired from holding their heavy heads. I can spend a lot of time day dreaming, staring at the tulips and looking for poems in the subtle changes of each day.
Now that it’s National Poetry month the plant that stands in the corner has become my ‘Poetree’. Each day I will write a 3-line poem to hang from its branches. The poems will come from the inspiration that creeps through the window. This year I am writing the poems on fish shapes cut from old photographs – I call them ‘Poemfish’. I’ll make two copies of each poem – one for the tree and one to hang on a neighbour’s door in the hopes of spreading the joy of poetry!
So far it has been a wonderful spring for my poetry. I have just celebrated seeing 5 of my poems published in the latest issue of Arc Magazine. The poems are a suite from the collection I am currently working on. The issue launched at VerseFest, Ottawa’s International Poetry Festival, which was very exciting and now I am looking forward to seeing my poem in TNQ’s Issue 146!
We’re giving you a behind-the-scenes look into the writing process – straight from the desks of our contributors! Check out the full series here.