25th Trillium Award

The Gutter Series: Between Projects, Poetry Edition with Jim Christy

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Jim Christy

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Open Book is launching a new series — The Gutter Series: Between Books, Poetry Edition. (The gutter, as any good book geek knows, refers to the inner margins of two facing pages — literally, the in-between.)

Writing a book is a lengthy process and even the most prolific authors need time to work. We rarely have a chance to chat with writers who haven't published in the current season, and we're curious about life between launches.

Jim Christy is a poet and visual artist living in the Kingston area. His most recent collection, Marimba Forever, was published with Guernica Editions in 2010 and was shortlisted for the ReLit Award.

Jim talks to Open Book about his stone tablet, day jobs and abandoned cars.

Open Book:

Where do you look for new project ideas? What is one of the most surprising places you've found inspiration?

Jim Christy:

I look for new project ideas in St. John's. I tried St. John but it didn't work...I once found inspiration in my closet.


Do you celebrate when your books come out? How did you celebrate the first time?


I always celebrate because I know the publisher will go to such great lengths to promote my books and that thrills me so...The first time was so long ago, I forget. I know the poetry appeared on a stone tablet.


Do you have a day job? If so, do you find it helping or hindering your writing? How do you balance writing with other professional pursuits?


I've had hundreds of day jobs to support my writing habit. These days jobs are looked upon by writers as being highly unusual. Most young writers, it seems, have never had an actual job. I recommend them. A writer could learn something from them. But I realize that is an old-fashioned notion.


What would your ideal writing environment look like?


The back seat of an old Hudson abandoned in a field somewhere.


What's up next for you?


A couple of drinks.

Jim Christy, a poet and visual artist, has spent his adult life exploring the ways and doings of men, women and other creatures. He has read his poetry and exhibited his art work throughout the world. His most recent collection is Marimba Forever (Guernica Editions, 2010).

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

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