Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

What is Influency Salon? (Diving into Poetry at:

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What is Influency Salon? (Diving into Poetry at:

For everyone who loves poetry (who doesn’t?), and anyone who is always on the alert for what’s new, interesting and challenging in the craft . . . look no further than a brand new, innovative website dedicated entirely to the craft. It’s called “Influency Salon – Engaging conversations with Contemporary Canadian Poetry” and can be found at:

The editors describe their creative approach as follows: “Influency Salon is an online magazine for the reception and distribution of poetry thinking— reading diverse works of poetry, conversing about them, and measuring their ways and means, forms and motives. Via page and ear, our editors listen deeply and care persistently. We figure how the work matters. We expect a conversation about poetry to be public, present, and relevant. We want to gather in the room of poetry, and talk our heads off.”

You’ll find issue #1 on the homepage now . . . then, “in early May Issue 2 will appear, followed in late May by Issue 3. These three inaugural issues will set this vivid poetry salon’s commitment firmly at your wrists. Poetry matters. To us, to you, to cities, to air, to culture.”

I really admire what is happening here, something of the wisdom of crowds judging by the already large number of contributors, guided by founding and publishing editor Margaret Christakos. In her introductory note, Margaret writes, “Each of our issues will feature three hefty original essays by Influency guest poet-essayists, accompanied by audio readings by the poets under discussion, and introduced by the issue’s editorial group. You’ll also find shorter writings called “measures” on our feature books . . . Join the Influency conversations by logging in and imprinting our site with your own responses. Wherever possible, we’ve built comment lobbies into this salon. Subscribe for free and make this your bar, your divan, your book club, your writing circle.”

This is one of the most promising poetry sites I’ve seen in years, and urge you to read Margaret's opening note that describes the unique origins of the site, its monthly structure, and ambitious aims (

Then . . . make sure you tell everyone you know about Influency Salon!

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.

Edward Carson

Edward Carson is twice winner of the E. J. Pratt Poetry Award in Canada and is the author of three books of poetry — Scenes, Taking Shape and Birds Flock Fish School.

Go to Edward Carson’s Author Page