Interview: 12 or 20 questions re ^^^^^^

Where does a poem usually begin for you? Are you an author of short pieces that end up combining into a larger project, or are you working on a “book” from the very beginning?

Honestly, many of my poems begin with me ranting in bed at night.

Are public readings part of or counter to your creative process? Are you the sort of writer who enjoys doing readings?

I can’t manage to feel one way about readings. The vibes are so variable and I can’t be the mountain. If someone sneezes, I say, “Oh no! They don’t care at all!” Then I say, “They can’t help it, it’s a reflex! Get over yourself!” And it feels like I’m Richard E. Grant in How to Get Ahead in Advertising, fighting with my giant boil co-head in the middle of a dinner party.

Do you have any theoretical concerns behind your writing? What kinds of questions are you trying to answer with your work? What do you even think the current questions are?

I don’t have a lot of patience for theory. But I have many concerns. I get this line in my head from some daytime TV talk show I saw, when they had a cook on as a guest. She’s shoving onions around in a frying pan, and he host asks her, “How did you start cooking? Did you go to culinary school?” And she hollers: “I went to the school of MAMA!” That’s pretty much my background with theory.

I’m with C. Wright Mills on this — “Let every man be his own methodologist.”

Whole thing here.


More faves

Got these pleasing mentions for Sharps! Paul Vermeersch was kind enough to mention my book in his gift guide recommendations at All Lit Up:

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Writer and designer Kate Hargreaves chose Sharps as one of her favourite books of the year, over at BookThug:

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And Carmine Starnino made a list on Twitter of his most enjoyed, including mine:

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The other books they recommend are also great and it’s a total treat to be placed in the company of so many great writers!




Stevie Howell 1

Stevie Howell is an Irish-Canadian writer and worker. Sharps, a first collection of poetry, was released fall 2014, and was a finalist for the 2015 Gerald Lampert Award. Poems from the book were finalists for The Walrus Poetry Prize and The Montreal Poetry Prize. Poems have also been anthologized in The Best Canadian Poetry (2014 and 2015 anthologies) and The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial journal, So It Goes (2015). 

Stevie’s poetry has appeared in Eighteen Bridges, Geist, Hazlitt, Maisonneuve, Taddle Creek, and The Walrus. Critical writing has appeared in The National Post, The Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire, and The Rumpus. Stevie grew up in Scarborough, once owned a small-town bookstore, lives by the Mink Mile, works in a hospital, and studies psychology.