Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The Writing Desk

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not my writing desk

The creative mind plays with the object it loves. - Carl Jung

After this weekend's heart heavy post, I decided to lighten the mood with a series:

On The Writer's Desk.

Throughout the week, I will be asking Canadian authors and poets one question:

What is on your writing desk or in your writing space?

When I was enrolled in the Creative Writing MFA at the University of Guelph, David Young was teaching playwriting. He told our class that he kept a chunk of amber on his desk to focus his mind and inspire him during the writing process.

Over the last few weeks, I've been purging my room and unearthing random objects and papers- but I haven't touched by desk.

Some of the things on my desk:

A red feather pen I bought to sign autographs with (I discovered it didn't work when I tried signing my first book at my book launch).

A photo of Kakamega rainforest (Kenya).

A rose coloured resin paperweight that used to sit on my Dad's work desk.

A Kisii stone egg I acquired in Mombasa.

A half hidden print of Edward Hopper's "Automat"

I hardly write on my desk, though. I tend to write everywhere but on my desk.

I do carry around a stone- something tangible to hold on to- to find poems in.

It sits at the bottom of my purse/s, along with a school notebook (I can't write in fancy notebooks, it makes me feel like my writing has to be fancy) and a pen.

Is there something you carry with you, something that reminds you of a character yet to be written...or a poem still making its way to the page?

“Objects should not touch because they are not alive. You use them, put them back in place, you live among them: they are useful, nothing more. But they touch me, it is unbearable. I am afraid of being in contact with them as though they were living beasts.”
― Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea

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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Sheniz Janmohamed

Sheniz Janmohamed is a spoken word artist, author and graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing program at the University of Guelph. Her first book, Bleeding Light (TSAR) a collection of sufi-inspired English ghazals, was published in 2010.

Go to Sheniz Janmohamed’s Author Page