What am I working on?
Rabbit Punch!, my second collection of poetry with DC Books just dropped at the beginning of May 2014, so I'm still processing the fallout from that. Getting a book ready has actually been mentally exhausting, on top of a whole other slew of things going on, so right now I'm doing my best to recharge my batteries and read, read, read. There are some books by local Montreal authors that are piled up next to my bedside table that I'm really excited about reading: Fire and Sage by Moe Clark, Waiting for the Man by Arjun Basu, Peeling Rambutan by Gillian Sze, New Tab by Guillaume Morrisette, and I Am Here by Ashley Opheim. I just finished reading Jay Winston Ritchie's new book, the awesomely titled How to Appear Perfectly Indifferent While Crying and it is one of my new favourite things. My work right now is to feed my brain with fodder so I can write later.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
You know that goofy line from the trailer for the movie Hellboy: "In the absence of light, darkness prevails." I'd like to think that my poetry provides a little bit of lightness in the dark; I'm the night light of poetry.
Why do I write what I do?
Poetry is a mystery that I'm constantly trying to make sense of like how they get the caramel into a Caramilk bar or how come Patrick Stewart doesn't age. I write poetry to play with words. I write poetry to challenge what people consider poetry to be. I write poetry because of people who say I should be doing anything else but write poetry. I write poetry to make sense of the odd deep sea fish that bounce around inside my skull. I write poetry because the first poetry workshop I ever did was with David McGimpsey at Concordia University and I saw the type of work that he did, his contagious enthusiasm for poetry, his deep seriousness for the art form despite all the funny, and it made me and continues to make me want to learn everything I can about the art of poetry.
How does your writing process work?
I write when I can. I don't have a regular writing process or schedule. I embrace the chaos. More often than not, I write after my two kids and wife are asleep. When I hear the hum of the dishwasher and it's dark, then I know it's time to write.
A big thank you to Gillian Sze for 'tagging me' and inviting me to participate in the blog tour. Read her post here.
Next up: Jay Winston Ritchie and Ashley Opheim.
Jay Winston Ritchie is the author of Something You Were, Might Have Been, or Have Come to Represent (Insomniac Press, 2014). How to Remain Perfectly Indifferent While Crying on the Inside is his first book of poetry. He is the editor in chief at The Void and a shortlister of the LitPop award (2012) for his fiction. He lives in Montréal.