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Poetry in Transit interview with Jen Currin

Jen Currin

Jen Currin

Poetry in Transit is a partnership with the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia. Now in it’s 18th year, the program aims to profile talented British Columbian and Canadian poets and provide our customers with poetry to read on their commutes.

Jen Currin’s “A Week of Silence” from School is currently one of 20 poems on the system. She took time out of her busy schedule to do this quick interview with us about the poem and herself!

Who is Jen Currin?
I wish I knew the answer to this question!

Would you be able to tell us a bit more about “A Week of Silence?” What were the inspirations behind it?
This poem came from the not-unique realization that sometimes the most wise and kind thing you can do for someone you love is to step aside and wish them well as they go on to other experiences.

How would you classify your style of poetry and writing? What inspires you?
I’m a collagist, primarily. I am inspired by a lot of things: reading, art of all kinds, the city, walking and biking, gardening and friends.

What’s a ‘great’ poem for you?
I want to feel both my intelligence and my heart/spirit tickled.

Who’s your favourite poet and/or somebody that has heavily influenced your work?
I have so many favorites—it’s impossible to pick one. Anne Carson, John Ashbery, Lisa Robertson, Dionne Brand, Max Jacob, Russell Edson, Camille Roy and Mary Tallmountain are just a few of the many poets who have inspired and influenced me.

What does Poetry in Transit mean for you?
I like the idea that poetry is a way of moving, a kind of transportation. Poetry should transport us to different places, different experiences and different points of view. Ideally, a poem takes me outside of my own limited point of view.

Do you take transit? If so, what’s your favourite mode?
Yes. I like the noise and city views from the bus; I like the speed and reach of the SkyTrain.

Peer into your crystal ball, and tell us what you see for yourself in the future.
I see myself growing and canning vegetables with friends. I see myself on bike rides, alone and with good people, through a verdant and car-less city.

We really appreciate your time Jen! You can visit her website at jencurrin.com and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #PoetryInTransit.

Author: Allen Tung


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