Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


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Is enjambment supposed to be pronounced with a French accent?

What do you do when you unpack a line and can’t figure out where you thought you were going in the first place?

Is a metaphor just a simile with the “like” or “as” taken out?

Is it true that some great poems were written in ten minutes?

How many times have I used the words ”wrists” and “shimmer” over the course of the last 40 years?

Didn’t I already write this a month ago?

Should you really keep reminding well-meaning friends that they’re called stanzas, not paragraphs?

If everything is a metaphor, then what’s a poem a metaphor for?

Why do words like “bucolic” and “trenchant” always blow their own tone?

How come a good poem sprouts flaws the minute you read it loud to someone else?

What if you did everything backwards: told instead of showed; worst words in their worst order; the void is in the details?


1 comment

Allow me to add my own questions based on my own experience :-)

Are those dishes going to wash themselves?

How many times have I used the phrase "edge of my seeing" over the course of the last decade?

When do I start telling off my well-meaning friend who says I'm so talented, I could write "real stories"?

Didn't I promise my husband I would clean out the science projects in the crisper drawer?

Barry, at least your questions have mostly to do with the craft of poetry. Mine have everything to do with procrastination.


The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Barry Dempster

Barry Dempster, twice nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award, is the author of fourteen poetry collections, two novels, two volumes of short stories and a children’s book.

Go to Barry Dempster’s Author Page