Trillium Book Award Author Readings June 16

Poets in Profile: Sharon Thesen

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Open Book is celebrating National Poetry Month with daily profiles of today's "unacknowledged legislators of the world." Find out what inspires, confounds and delights the poets behind this spring's new releases by following our series.

Sharon Thesen follows her highly acclaimed 2006 collection The Good Bacteria with the stunning Oyama Pink Shale (House of Anansi Press). These are poems that look "beyond weird knobs of tilted earth," as Thesen writes in the book's eponymous poem. From within her inquisitive, powerful lines, "a slight knocking / sound can be heard, as of someone wanting out."

Sharon Thesen will be reading from Oyama Pink Shale this week at the Locke Branch of the Toronto Public Library on Wednesday, April 27th; at the Anansi Poetry Bash on Thursday, April 28th and at the Ottawa International Writers Festival on Saturday, April 30th. Visit our Events pages for details.


What is the first poem you remember being affected by?

Sharon Thesen:

"Bagpipe Music", by Louis MacNeice.


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


Finnegans Wake. (It can be, and has been, argued that Finnegans Wake is a long unlineated poem.)


What has been your most unlikely source of inspiration?


A letter to the editor of the local newspaper complaining about the shortness of the duration of the left-hand turn signal at the corner of Spall and Harvey in Kelowna, B.C.


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


Eventually it just goes away.


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


This in Which (New Directions, 1981), by George Oppen.


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


I?m still aspiring to be a poet!

Sharon Thesen is the author of nine books of poetry, including The Good Bacteria, which was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and the ReLit Award. She received the 2001 Pat Lowther Memorial Award for her collection A Pair of Scissors, and she has been for a finalist for the British Columbia Book Prize. She was born in Tisdale, Saskatchewan and now lives in British Columbia, where she is a professor at University of British Columbia.

For more information about Oyama Pink Shale please visit the House of Anansi Press website.

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

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