Poet, educator and arts advocate Elizabeth Greene explores the meaning of place and home in her poetry collection, Moving (Inanna Publications).
Today Elizabeth opens up about the city she calls home for Open Book Ontario’s Focus On: Kingston series, A Writer’s Kingston.
What is your perfect writing spot in Kingston? (There’s a catch: it can’t be your home.)
For anything taking shape: walking by the lake including the Statue of Time.
For taking my manuscript, short or long, out to coffee as part of the revision process: Coffee and Co.
For writing in my journal: The Golden Rooster, Coffee and Co., Pan Chancho.
For writing itself: it's got to be home.
What are the first recommendations you'd make to a writer or bibliophile moving to town?
The Thrive series. It's a mix of feature writers and local writers. Novel Idea bookstore for books and for events. WritersFest, of course. Find like-minded people and form a writing group. Get to know writers whose work you love. Look for a book group or form one. Keep your past literary connections.
If you had to set a story or poem at an intersection in Kingston, which would it be and why?
I've set stories and poems in Kingston — I've got a poem sequence on haunted houses, a story where the market is central; I've got part of a poem on vanishing stores downtown — I could have made it much longer. The lake is Kingston's most immediately inspiring feature; but I think the houses carry Kingston's stories. You don't know Kingston until you know the houses. If I had to choose an intersection, it would be the corner of King and Brock — that's where I usually meet the people I need to see. It's close to the market (always wonderful) and it's filled with coincidence.
But I'd never write from an intersection. I'd write from sitting in a coffee shop and overhearing stories of murder, divorce, betrayal. I'd choose the Sleepless Goat now, but the murder story, which I never wrote, hit the air in Stuart's Place (now long gone, but close to the intersection of King and Brock).