Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Questionless Books Interview: Poet Damian Rogers

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The Questionless Books Interview: Poet Damian Rogers

In The Questionless Books Interview, I get a whole bunch of books people (from authors to editors to publishers to sales/publicity/production people, booksellers, designers, librarians, readers, etc) to "answer" a series of unspoken "questions". The results highlight a delightful mix of the opportunities and challenges facing our sector: from doom and gloom to sunshine and rainbows, and every irony in between.

Damian Rogers was born and raised in suburban Detroit. Her first book is Paper Radio, ECW, 2009. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and a graduate degree from the Bennington Writing Seminars in Bennington, Vermont. Her poems have been published in Brick Magazine, The Walrus, Salt Hill, MoonLit, and This Magazine. She lives in Toronto.

Damian's Links:

Paper Radio

I am... a poet.

I am known to... talk too much.

I do this in... print, on long drives, at home, at parties, and sometimes on stage.

I do this because... I am trying to figure something out.

I do this when I... am alone or with others.

The way I do this is... by identifying, sorting and, ordering; obsessively analyzing and reanalyzing my conclusions.

At his/her core, a Writer is... a pattern maker.

As opposed to an Author, who is... someone with her own book in her hand.

A Writer is responsible for... finding the next word.

As opposed to an Author, who is responsible for... showing up when asked.

At its core, Publishing is... a way to circulate ideas through a network of individual personalities out into the sea of humanity. Or at least onto Amazon.

As opposed to Editing, which is... refining language so that ideas might circulate more effectively.

A Publisher should always... love the work.

As opposed to an Editor, who should always... understand the writer.

A Manuscript that's ready to be read by others is... well executed.

As opposed to a Book that's ready to be read by others, which is... hot off the press.

A Manuscript should always... be exciting.

As opposed to a Book, which should always... be excellent.

At its core, Bookselling is... an exchange of goods and services.

As opposed to Book Marketing, which is... reader development.

The smallest unit of narrative is... facial expression.

The biggest reason to anticipate the future is... to avoid turning blind corners.

The biggest reason to be scared of the future is... I don’t see much advantage in fear, though it’s important for us to remain alert. My feeling is that there was adversity and beauty in the past, there will be adversity and beauty in the future. Look around you, everywhere, adversity and beauty. That said, I’m not a fatalist; I think it’s our responsibility to fight greed, violence, shortsightedness, and ignorance so the future — and present — is as healthy as possible. We can do better. We need to do better.

In the future we will all... be wondering about the future.

At his/her core, a Reader is... someone who wants to have an experience.

However, the ideal Reader is... someone open to entering the writer’s experience.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Related item from our archives

George Murray

George Murray’s six books of poetry include The Rush to Here and The Hunter. His most recent books, Whiteout and Glimpse: Selected Aphorisms, are published by ECW Press. He is the editor of the popular literary website

Go to George Murray’s Author Page