Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Going to an airport? Help me write GET ME OUT OF HERE!

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Move the Haida masks: all I want to see is your face.

Heather Jessup, YHZ-(YYC)-YVR December 4, 2012


Have you been to an airport since November 23? Will you be in one before February 28? Yes? Then sharpen your skills of observation - I want you to help me write my next manuscript!

I have been reading and writing about airports for the past year. They are fascinating places. It is a point of departure and reunion; our first look at a new place with little in common with the place beyond its glass and concrete walls. It is a place where we surrender our bodies to surveillance, where we surrender our water at the gate, where we wait, and wait, and wait.

Sound inspiring? I thought so. I've been reading a lot about the history and culture of airports. I've been in over a dozen airports this year, and every time I forget that I am writing about them, put my head down, and just start impatiently waiting to get on the plane, to get my luggage, to get the hell out there.

Then I'd come home and sit at my computer and... nothing. Tappity tappity, delete, delete. Headdesk.

So rather than throw myself off a bridge - my usual impulse when writers block hits -  I've decided to work with my lack of inspiration - by outsourcing it.

I've made an open call for anyone who will be in an airport until February 28. What catches your eye? Your ear? What strikes you? I'm looking for those flinty moments that burst poems into flame. Send me an observation in one sentence, and I will write a poem in response. I've committed to responding to the first one hundred observations that are sent. So get down to YYZ or YVR or YYZ or wherever it is you're going and help me write these poems!

Should you wish to participate, please send me your line in a Facebook message or to my gmail (sachiko dot murakami), along with the date and airport in which your sentence arose.

I've created a Tumblr to track the submissions, and provided a few more guidelines. Sharpen your eyes and ears! I need you!


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.

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Sachiko Murakami

Sachiko Murakami is the author of the poetry collections The Invisibility Exhibit (Talonbooks, 2008), a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and Rebuild (Talonbooks, 2011). She lives in Toronto.

Go to Sachiko Murakami’s Author Page