Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Dirty Dozen, with Damian Rogers

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Damian Rogers

Damian Rogers's first publication ever was in Brick Magazine, a venerable journal to which many established poets would be nervous submitting. In 2009, her first full length collection, Paper Radio was published by ECW. Her powerful, intelligent, sometimes surreal poems have been a fixture and a favourite amongst readers and poets alike ever since. This spring sees the publication of her newest collection, Dear Leader (Coach House Books), which has been praised by writer Lynn Crosbie as "an original act of aesthetic violence and pure, dauntless, love".

We're pleased to welcome Damian to the site today as part of our Dirty Dozen series, which asks authors to share twelve unexpected facts about themselves.

Damian tells us stories of her parents, cat angels and the power of names.

  1. My mother met my father when she was selling Avon door-to-door in Long Beach, California.

  2. My birth certificate has the wrong guy listed as my father.

  3. My mother used to take me to her art classes when I was little and I would draw the nude models in crayon.

  4. After my Siamese cat Ivan died when I was 6 years old, I drew cat angels over and over and over.

  5. When I was in fourth grade, I wanted to be a witch. In response to this news, my grandmother typed me up a folder of spells.

  6. The following year, I converted to Catholicism.

  7. I swam competitively in middle school on a team at the local Y. I hated it.

  8. I met my father for the first time when I was 13. My mother thought it would put less pressure on me if he came to one of my swim meets. Pretty sure I came in last, or next to last. I didn’t see him again until I was 17.

  9. My mother and I used to read each other’s tarot cards.

  10. I went to four proms in high school.

  11. My last name used to be Armstrong but I changed it to my grandmother’s maiden name (Rogers) when I turned 21. I get a very funny feeling when I find old papers with “Damian Armstrong” written on them.

  12. Jimmy Page once bought me a drink.

  13. I’m superstitious about numbers and prefer the number 13 to the number 12.


Originally from the Detroit area, Damian Rogers now lives in Toronto where she works as the poetry editor of both House of Anansi Press and The Walrus, and as the creative director of Poetry in Voice, a national recitation contest for Canadian high-school students. Her first book of poems, Paper Radio, was nominated for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award.

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