Wednesday, November 23, 2011

12 or 20 questions with Laura Lush

Rob Mclennan interviewed Laura Lush for his 12 or 20 questions series. Below is the first two questions and answers. You can be read the entire interview at

1 - How did your first book change your life? How does your most recent work compare to your previous? How does it feel different?

Good question.  My first book, Hometown (Vehicule Press, Signal Editions, 1991) was written mostly at the Banff Centre over three summers.  And some of the poems were written when I was a creative writing undergrad at York University between 1984-87.  So, I was very fortunate that my first attempt to publish a m.s. was successful.  I don’t think this is a very realistic experience for “new” or “emerging writers.”  In fact, finding a publisher for my most recent book, Carapace (Palimpsest Press, 2011) took over a year.  Also, my first book was nominated for a GG---and that scared the hell out of me.  I wasn’t ready.  Of course, I didn’t win.  And that has been a good thing.  I always have a great fondness for Hometown as the poems were about my childhood and my family.  The memories/images were very very raw.  My work today is a bit more removed.  There is more of a “buffer” between the narrator’s voice and the actual material.  And I think the work tries to grapple with more abstract/metaphysical complexities rather than just speak of past memories.

2 - How did you come to poetry first, as opposed to, say, fiction or non-fiction?

I had very little interest in poetry in high school.  I’m not sure why this was.  But shortly before I applied to the creative writing program at York, I went into see Don Coles, who, of course, is one of our best---if not best---modern Canadian poets.  Something in that initial conversation turned me towards poetry.  It was very very subtle, yet powerful enough to make me want to explore poetry further.