Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Ten Questions with Sandy Pool

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Ten Questions with Sandy Pool

Sandy Pool talks to Open Book about reading, writing and her book, Exploding Into Night (Guernica Editions).

Open Book: Toronto:

Tell us about your latest book.

Sandy Pool:

I like to think of Exploding Into Night as a long poetic conversation written in fragmented sections. The narrative is based on true story of a murder case which occurred in the Parkdale area of Toronto. The poem speaks in many voices; including that of killer, victim and the conscience of the city itself. The poem is a kind of “choose-your-own adventure.” It is closer to a mural than a map; everyone can bring their own sensibilities to the work.

OBT:

Did you have a specific readership in mind when you wrote your book?

SP:

I think that Exploding Into Night is a very readable book of poetry, perhaps even for individuals who may not otherwise enjoy poetry. However, I agree with something Margaret Atwood once said which is "I write for the readers who like my work." So, I’ll stick with that.

OBT:

Describe your ideal writing environment.

SP:

A room with a roaring fire, warm lighting, cuddly cats... maybe some good pizza and wine... I like to have "romantic evenings" with my writing... apparently!

OBT:

What was your first publication?

SP:

I was lucky enough to win a poetry competition sponsored by the University of Guelph when I was in high school. The winning poem was printed in a little anthology, so I guess that was my first publication. I think it was a rather angst-y, embarrassing little poem too, so I hope no one finds a copy!

OBT:

Describe a recent Canadian cultural experience that influenced your writing.

SP:

I find that watching films really influences my writing. I just saw The Last Winter directed by Larry Fessenden, and I loved it! My villanelle “Wendigo” was inspired by that film and appeared in sub-TERRAIN in their recent form issue.

OBT:

If you had to choose three books as a “Welcome to Canada” gift, what would those books be?

SP:

1. John Thompson: Collected Poems and Translations, edited by Peter Sanger
2. Barbara Gowdy: The Romantic
3. Diane Schomperlen: Forms of Devotion

OBT:

What are you reading right now?

SP:

Practical Ethics by Peter Singer
The Fact of A Doorframe by Adrienne Rich

OBT:

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received as a writer?

SP:

Be an accountant on the side! (This never happened to me, sorry mom.)

OBT:

What advice do you have for writers who are trying to get published?

SP:

I'm not sure I would presume to give advice, but I think reading widely is very important. I also think that giving your art the time and space it deserves is essential to creating thought-provoking work.

OBT:

What is your next project?

SP:

Currently putting finishing touches on my second manuscript of poetry and working on a full-length opera with a Toronto-based opera company.


Sandy Pool is a writer and classically trained theatre artist who lives in Toronto. She holds a degree in Theatre and English from the University of Toronto and a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. Her work has appeared in many journals including The Antigonish Review, dANDelion, The Capilano Review, Carousel, Contemporary Verse 2 and sub-TERRAIN. Currently she teaches English and Writing Skills at Humber College. Her first book of poetry will be published by Guernica Editions, and her Opera, One Lump Or Two, had its world premiere this year with Tapestry New Opera Works.
 
For more information about Exploding Into Night please visit the Guernica Editions website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.
 

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