25th Trillium Award

Poets in Profile: Carolyn R. Parsons

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Carolyn R. Parsons

Carolyn R. Parsons is a poet/author from Stratford whose first book of poetry, Wind Rhymes: Poetry from the Breeze, was released in 2009. Since then, she has also written a novel, The Secrets of Rare Moon Tickle, which came out in 2010. In today?s Poets in Profile interview, Carolyn tells us specifically about her experience as a poet. We learn about the teacher who encouraged her to pursue writing and how television is her most unlikely source of inspiration. Carolyn reveals what the worst thing about being a poet is, while at the same time celebrating the effectiveness of poetry and how a poet can reveal very personal information without revealing anything.

Open Book:

Can you describe an experience that you believe contributed to your becoming a poet?

Carolyn R. Parsons:

In Grade 4 my teacher was a young woman from our home town. She was not only beautiful, but a wonderful mentor with the ability to bring out the best in her students. She saw in me a talent for writing and encouraged me to pursue it. I entered a contest at her bidding and won a set of pens and it was published in the paper. That year I also received an award in language arts from the school. I have written poetry ever since that time.


What is the first poem you remember being affected by?


?Annabel Lee? by Edgar Allen Poe and it still remains one of my all-time favourites. It?s difficult to explain why that one sticks out, I think because of the imagery, the emotion, all without actual music but still singing somehow. I?m a rhyming poet and the beauty and ease of its lyrical words appeal to something in me. I love ebb and flow of it, the cadence, the simple brilliance and of course the emotion it instills.


What one poem — from any time period — do you wish you had been the one to write?


?This Quiet Dust was Gentlemen and Ladies? by Emily Dickinson.


What has been your most unlikely source of inspiration?


Inspiration is everywhere but it always surprises me when something on television stirs me to write poetry. I don?t watch it much so on the occasion I am watching and I get some tidbit of inspiration I am always shocked.


What do you do with a poem that just isn't working?


I can?t remember that ever happening permanently but usually I set it aside and go back to it at another time. Eventually it becomes something or part of something else.


What was the last book of poetry you read that really knocked your socks off?


The Ecstasy of Skeptics by Steven Heighton.


What is the best thing about being a poet?and what is the worst?


The best part is that I can write a poem in first person or third person and reveal some very personal information without revealing anything really. That can then touch something in someone else facing a similar issue. Combine that with it being a way to write when you don?t have bigger work in progress or time for bigger work. The worst is that the pay is awful.

Carolyn R. Parsons was born and raised in Change Islands, Newfoundland and Labrador and moved to Ontario in 1989. She is a published poet/author and her first book, Wind Rhymes: Poetry from the Breeze was published in December, 2009. Her second, the novel The Secrets of Rare Moon Tickle, was released in 2010. She lives in Stratford.

For more information about The Secrets of Rare Moon Tickle please visit Carolyn?s website.

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

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