Trillium Book Award Author Readings June 16

A Writer's Kingston, with Elizabeth Greene

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Poet, educator and arts advocate Elizabeth Greene explores the meaning of place and home in her poetry collection, Moving (Inanna Publications).

Today Elizabeth opens up about the city she calls home for Open Book Ontario’s Focus On: Kingston series, A Writer’s Kingston.

Open Book:

What is your perfect writing spot in Kingston? (There’s a catch: it can’t be your home.)

Elizabeth Greene:

For anything taking shape: walking by the lake including the Statue of Time.
For taking my manuscript, short or long, out to coffee as part of the revision process: Coffee and Co.
For writing in my journal: The Golden Rooster, Coffee and Co., Pan Chancho.
For writing itself: it's got to be home.


What are the first recommendations you'd make to a writer or bibliophile moving to town?


The Thrive series. It's a mix of feature writers and local writers. Novel Idea bookstore for books and for events. WritersFest, of course. Find like-minded people and form a writing group. Get to know writers whose work you love. Look for a book group or form one. Keep your past literary connections.


If you had to set a story or poem at an intersection in Kingston, which would it be and why?


I've set stories and poems in Kingston — I've got a poem sequence on haunted houses, a story where the market is central; I've got part of a poem on vanishing stores downtown — I could have made it much longer. The lake is Kingston's most immediately inspiring feature; but I think the houses carry Kingston's stories. You don't know Kingston until you know the houses. If I had to choose an intersection, it would be the corner of King and Brock — that's where I usually meet the people I need to see. It's close to the market (always wonderful) and it's filled with coincidence.

But I'd never write from an intersection. I'd write from sitting in a coffee shop and overhearing stories of murder, divorce, betrayal. I'd choose the Sleepless Goat now, but the murder story, which I never wrote, hit the air in Stuart's Place (now long gone, but close to the intersection of King and Brock).

Elizabeth Greene has published two books of poetry, The Iron Shoes (Hidden Brook) and Moving (Inanna). Her new book Understories is due out from Inanna next spring. She has also edited and contributed to We Who Can Fly: Poems, Essays and Memories in Honour of Adele Wiseman (Cormorant) which won the Betty and Morris Aaron Prize for Best Scholarship on a Canadian Subject.

She has edited Kingston Poets' Gallery (Artful Codger), which spun off from an eight part reading series she organized at the Gallery Café. She has co-edited three books, most recently Common Magic: The Book of the New in conjunction with the 2008 Bronwen Wallace conference in Kingston. She has published poetry, fiction and non-fiction in journals and anthologies. She taught English at Queen's for many years where she helped implement the introduction of Creative Writing and helped found Women's Studies.

For more information about Moving please visit Inanna Publishing.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore, online from the publisher or at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

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