Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

At the Desk: Jamie Sharpe

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Jamie Sharpe

After the success of his debut poetry collection, Animal Husbandry Today, Jamie Sharpe was a poet to watch. He returns this spring with Cut-Up Apologetic (ECW Press), which explores aging in a youth-obsessed world. A witty, timely collection, Jamie's satirical eye is turned on everything from reality TV to pharmaceutical companies, and even on his own life. Though pointed, the collection isn't strident or prescriptive, but rather playful and at times poignant.

Jamie joins us today as part of Open Book's At The Desk series, in which writers pull back the curtain on their workspaces and give us a peek into their writing processes. He tells us about knitting, mountain climbing and how an uncomfortable chair can be a boon to a writer.

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Having a desk to write at is a recent luxury. Prior to Animal Husbandry Today my wife, Deborah, and I moved throughout rural British Columbia for Deb’s work. On Galiano Island one week, in Salmon Arm the next, I couldn’t be precious about when or where I wrote.

When we first settled in Whitehorse, in January of 2012, we initially holed up in a basement suite while searching for more permanent accommodation. It was during this period of near permanent midnight that I knit a three-story-long scarf. Very little writing was completed.

Most of Cut-up Apologetic was cobbled together in our new apartment. I commandeered a cubbyhole off the living room as my writing retreat: where I’m found most mornings and evenings. From the window I look out on Mt. Lorne, which Deb and I climbed last year — and where a caribou charged us as we crested a ridge.

The desk was found in a Nanaimo thrift store. The accompanying chair has the beneficial quality of being highly uncomfortable, thusly keeping me from daydreaming and basking aimlessly in the sunlight. There is always the danger, however, of getting lost in a book or the Jeremy Miranda paintings on the wall.

Jamie Sharpe


Jamie Sharpe is the author of Animal Husbandry Today (ECW, 2012) as well as Cut-Up Apologetic. He lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.

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