25th Trillium Award

Trillium Takes Ontario: Sandy Pool

Share |

Open Book loves Trillium season! Find out more about the talented authors nominated for the Trillium Book Award by following our special new series. We'll catch up with as many of these writers as we can in the lead-up to the awards announcement on Tuesday, June 18th. You can hear the finalists read from their nominated works on Monday, June 17th at the Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library. Visit Open Book's Events page for details.

Sandy Pool was nominated for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry for her second collection, Undark: An Oratorio (Harbour Publishing). Today Sandy tells us about the "radium women" who inspired Undark and the retreat to Banff that allowed her to trade in doctoral work for poetry.

Open Book:

What was one source of inspiration for your Trillium-nominated book, and how did that spark find its way into the final version of your project?

Sandy Pool:

Undark was inspired by a reference to the ?so-called? radium women I came across in an academic article about trauma. It was just a passing reference, but after looking into the story, I knew that I had to write about it. I feel very honoured to be able to dig into a story like this, and elegize these women. I also felt very lucky to chat with playwright Marie Clements at a conference recently, who also includes radium women in her play Burning Vision. I think it was surprising for both of us to find that the story of Undark paint is still so unknown, so hopefully our artistic contributions will help fix that.


What was an essential part of your writing routine while you worked on this book?


More than anything, I really needed time and space to write Undark. I was working on my Ph.D. at the same time, which included studying for comprehensive exams and doing course work. I alternated between school work and poetry work, which I found to be a good mix of different kinds of thinking. I also spent a month at the Banff Centre working on Undark, which was pretty heavenly after working on my degree for so long!


What location in Ontario do you think would make the best writers' retreat, and why?


I?ve been in love with Northern Ontario since birth, so I?d love to see a writing retreat in Muskoka somewhere. Actually.. does someone want to lend me a cottage for this purpose? I?ll be the poet in residence! I?ll even commemorate you with your own personalized sentimental poem! What.. no one wants this? Really? Ok then?.

Sandy Pool is a multidisciplinary artist and recently appointed Killam scholar. She holds a degree in Theatre Performance and English from the University of Toronto, as well as a Master?s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University Guelph. Currently, she is a doctoral student in Canadian Literature and Poetics at the University of Calgary, where she is the editor of Dandelion magazine. Sandy?s first book, Exploding into Night, was nominated for the 2010 Governor General?s Award for Poetry. She is also a librettist and voice work artist.

For more information about Undark please visit the Harbour Publishing website.

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

Visit the OMDC website to read more about the Trillium Book Award.

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