Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

SO UP FRONT AND INSIDE OUT WITH A COLD WIND BLOWING

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4 SO UP FRONT AND INSIDE OUT WITH A COLD WIND BLOWING

Kids are so up front. When my husband and I perform music and poetry in schools and at festivals, three questions always surface 1. How much do you make? ( answer, "ha ha ha.") 2. Are you married ( answer, "Yes but we don't have the same name.") 3. have you ever been to jail ( answer, "Not technically, but there is a Siberia for Canadian artists, which can be a lot like jail.").

Siberia is when people ask if 1. Do you self publish? (answer, "No, can't afford to") 2. Do you write under another name ie one I have heard of? (answer "Yes, I say. I ALSO PUBLISH UNDER THE NAME OF MICHAEL ONDAATJE. It isn't a big problem lowering my voice, but the beard is difficult, especially at personal appearances. There are some Ondaatje fans who just have to pull on it).

A writer needs to have the insides of a sea anemone (soft) and the skin of a prizefighter (tough, like rough, thick cowhide).

"Why do you write?" is the best question, but don't ever ask it because the answer TAKES LONGER THAN THE TIME REQUIRED TO COOK A LOON.

The short answer is,"Because I have to."

There is no practical reason to rhyme, but furtive licks at the icing on the cake are irresistable. A good review, a misty-eyed reader, an award, that is the money between the layers. I am aware that for many well deserving writers that little reward wrapped in waxed paper so often gets swallowed the toilet seems like the only throne they will ever sit on.

However, we are a stubborn lot, determined to get out two bits in about the state of matrimony, misogny and misalliance in the modern world. Sometimes a match gets lit in the dark tunnel to cultural identity. I for one lit up at the offer of a hundred grand for a hockey anthem. Good reader that I am, I mis-read it. Anthem not song. They didn't want words. Our opus fell into the pit with fourteen thousand nine hundred and ninety nine others.

Keep the faith; and keep whacking those poems into the net.

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.

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Linda Rogers

Linda Rogers is the author of the novels Say My Name (Ekstasis Editions, 2000), Friday Water (Cormorant Books, 2003) and The Empress Letters (Cormorant Books, 2007). She has also published several collections of poetry, including Love in the Rainforest (Exile Editions, 1996), Heaven Cake (Sono Nis Press, 1997), The Saning (Sono Nis Press, 1999) and The Bursting Test (Guernica Editions, 2002).

Go to Linda Rogers’s Author Page