25th Trillium Award

Poets in Profile: David Groulx

Share |
David Groulx

Find out what inspires, confounds and delights today's Canadian poets by following our Poets in Profile series.

In today?s feature, David Groulx tells us about incinerating old poems and the beauty of Aboriginal and French accents. His latest book, Rising With a Distant Dawn, has just been published with BookLand Press.

Open Book:

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

David Groulx:

I remember the way people talked to each other, the inflection of French and Aboriginal accents that were all around me then. The provincial wit, and a way to understand the world through language. In our house many times language created everything — fear, love and laughter — I try to remember the love and the laughter the most. Also when I was very young I had a hearing problem, one of my eardrums had a hole in it. I often wondered if this was also part of the reason I came to poetry, or it came to me.


What is the first poem you remember being affected by?


Where I grew up, now that I look back on it, there didn?t seem to be much opportunity for poetry. I remember hearing the poetry of Robert Service, reading Dennis Lee and Al Purdy, Irving Layton. I think Tiffany Midge and her book of poetry Outlaws, Renegades and Saints: Diary of a Mixed-Up Halfbreed (Greenfield Review Press, 1996) has always spoken the loudest to me.


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


Emily Dickinson?s "Because I Could Not Stop For Death."


What has been your most unlikely source of inspiration?


I don?t think a poet?s inspiration is limited by anything likely or unlikely, but what is unlikely is a satisfactory answer to this question.


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


I hold onto it, long past its due, and when I?m absolutely certain its corpse is a corpse I incinerate it. I do have one line I?ve been carrying around in my head for about two years now. It goes ?They dug holes like Badgers, but they were not Badgers.? What do I do with that line? I guess I?ll have to wait and see what the Badgers decide they really are.


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


I?d like to get back to T.S Eliot?s The Waste Land; I love Jeff Bien?s America & Other Poems and Tiffany Midge?s Outlaws, Renegades and Saints: Diary of a Mixed-Up Halfbreed.


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


What?s the worst thing is the stereotype that poets are all drunken subversives and half crazy — wait, is that a stereotype? The second worst thing is everyone is waiting for you to write a novel.

What?s the best thing? The sex.

David Groulx was raised in the Northern Ontario mining community of Elliot Lake. He is proud of his Native roots ? his mother is Ojibwe Indian and his father French Canadian. David received his BA from Lakehead University where he won the Munro Poetry Prize. He also studied creative writing at the En?owkin Centre in Penticton, B.C. where he won the Simon J. Lucas Jr. Memorial Award for poetry. David has written four previous poetry books: Night in the Exude (Tyro Publications, 1997), The Long Dance (Kegedonce Press, 2000), Under God?s Pale Bones (Kegedonce Press, 2010), and A Difficult Beauty (Wolsak & Wynn, 2011). His fifth book of poetry, Rising with a Distant Dawn, is published with BookLand Press.

For more information about Rising with a Distant Dawn please visit the BookLand Press website.

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

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Advanced Search