Coach House Books

Episode 49: Interview with Jason Christie

The Small Machine Talks with a.m. kozak and Amanda Earl

Episode 49 – Interview with Jason Christie

With humour, humility, intelligence and hope, Jason shares his thoughts on his book, poetry, chaos as creativity generator, nature, technology and the Monster at the End of This Book.

We talk about Jason’s latest book, Cursed Objects (Coach House Books, 2018). Jason muses philosophical on colour, sound, noise, language, poetry and things that are in the eye and mind of the beholder, the change in the nature of the role of the object in contemporary life.

He explains his interest in follies and the playful connection of the title to the content as a critique of finely wrought, well wrought things, a playful romp through intentionality.

Jason admits liking to create structures and undermine them. He talks about the biases that cause people to judge perfection.

Aaron praises the variety of the book. Jason was trying to go outside of the standard left-hand margin poem that we all write while trying to avoid the clever riddle.

Jason talks about his need to make crises as a catalyst for thinking to avoid complacency and how taking risks in poetry has that effect for him, such as playing with form in the book. He muses about when objects will have their moody teenage period.

Aaron asks about the role of nature in Jason’s writing. Jason suggests we need to understand that we are nature, not separate from it. He questions the idealism of some attitudes toward nature.  He uses nature in the same way as he does technology in the book. Nature is not a counterbalance to technology.

We discuss the humour in the book and the way Jason addresses readers directly. Jason and Amanda reminisce about BatFink, and Jason talks about the Monster at the End of this Book, and the idea of breaking the wall between writer and reader. He talks about the future of interactive reading.

We talk about the playfulness and weirdness of Ted Berrigan’s sonnets. Amanda talks about the usefulness of cut ups and the unique world they create.

Aaron asks about revision from chapbook to book for the Charm. Jason appreciates the support of rob mclennan of above/ground press. Jason talks about how people on social media are reduced to the words they used. The Charm invokes friends and family as how they are useful to him.

We discuss epigraphs and dedications as part of the constructed nature of the book, its element of fakeness and not pretending the construction isn’t there, the contract between reader and writer. Aaron asks about the ethics of writing about people in a poem.

We talk about how great the notes in the back of the book are. Aaron reads from the notes. He asks about tech poems as being cathartic. Jason disputes the idea that he’s anti-technology as some perceive after reading the book. He’s actually a technophile, but is concerned about the consequences of being the object of technological advance as we become their human. He expresses optimism about what future generations will be able to do with technology. He’s interested in tracking the evolution of technology and its relationship to humans.

We learn about the identify of Jason Wasabi.

We end with a discussion of music and Jason’s creation of sounds, which he calls noise and its connection to poetry, all the preconceived notions of what music or poetry should be and how Jason plays with those notions.

links

Cursed Objects (Coach House Books) https://chbooks.com/Books/C/Cursed-Objects

Batfink https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0Sow24CAQs

The Monster at the End of this Book https://muppet.fandom.com/wiki/The_Monster_at_the_End_of_This_Book

Ted Berrigan, Bean Spasms – https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/56113/bean-spasms

Jason Christie on Bandcamp: https://jasonchristie.bandcamp.com/

Thanks to Jason for being on the Small Machine Talks, to a.m. kozak for co-hosting, to Jennifer Pederson for the intros and outros, to Charles Earl for processing, to you for listening and sharing the episode.

Stay tuned for the next episode of…the Small Machine Talks, coming soon!

Episode 46 – 4th Season Opener

The Small Machine Talks

with a.m. kozak and Amanda Earl

Episode 46, Season 4 Opener

Recorded at Occo’s Kitchen and Bar on July 30, 2019

Season 3 Highlights and Season 4 & Beyond Plans

Overview of Season 3

12 episodes

most played – 38 – Bad Nudes with Thomas Molander and Fawn Parker with 153 plays (October)

9 interviews and 3 topics episodes: Small Press Fair, Book Review, Visual Poetry

Statistics as of July 30, 2019

SEASON 3 July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 had 1,513  plays

OVERALL May 15, 2016 to July 30, 2019 had 4,122 plays

Top Played Episodes: Dalton Derkson interview – Episode 6 with 174 plays, Bad Nudes 38 with 153 plays and 9 with Sarah MacDonell with 151 plays

Highlights

Aaron talks about why he enjoys interviews and their importance for research for contemporary writers;  We mull over the idea of number of plays and ratings.

Amanda talks about craft and process, the discussion with Cameron Anstee on minimalism and ephemera, books as objects and materiality from episode 34, the opener was quite interesting. Aram Saroyan’s Complete Minimalist Poems.

The Visual Poetry episodes 41 and 42 gave us a chance to go into a bit of depth about a subject, do a little research and discuss.

Amanda also particularly enjoyed episode 43 with Danielle K.L. Gregoire was so much fun because we went all over the place and because Danielle is such a great storyteller with a sexy radio voice.

We talk about the importance of a flexible format. The balance with over and underpreparing. We talk about doing interviews without our co-host.

Plans and Dreams for Season 4 and Beyond

More episodes like A Moveable Podcast with Jennifer LoveGrove, Episode 29, poets in the wild, perhaps a pub crawl or coffee crawl episode where we meet poets at different cafes and pubs and chat with them.

Go to a particular city, such as Toronto or Montreal and set up a space for a few days with interviews with poets we haven’t had the chance to talk to yet. Doyali Islam, Canisia Lubrin, Dionne Brand, Dorothy Palmer, for example.

https://www.facebook.com/BreathingSpaceSeries/

Interview with Shery Alexander Heinis and Mailyne Morena about the BIPOC reading series they’re creating in the fall.

Interview with Christine McNair about her current manuscript, motherhood and preeclampsia.

Interviews with Jason Christie and Nina Jane Drystek.

To interview long term friends or couples. We interviewed Conyer and Nathanael Larochette in Episode 36. I have plans to visit James Moran and Anita Dolman for an interview.

Aaron talks about revisiting those who were writing together in a group some time ago and interviewing them to talk about that experience and how it influenced their writing. Example is the creative writing workshops with Seymour Mayne at U of Ottawa.

Guest hosts/curators. Decide who you want to interview.

More episodes focused on a specific theme, such as places and spaces.

A bunch of people talking about a single book, such as the podcast On the Line by Rusty Toque: http://www.therustytoque.com/on-the-line

To expand our interviews to other genres, such as the interview with Mariah Horner which focused a bit more on the theatre. Would love to add music and musicians, but that would mean paying for a SOCAN license, so maybe not.

Interviews over Skype, Youtube, Messenger.  Technical advice needed!

Panel discussions, such as a queer poetry panel, and maybe a live episode somehow.

We talk about how we figure out who to interview. Depends on poet’s interest, availability and also publishers sometimes send us books for poets coming to town. Invisible Publishing, Wolsak and Wynn, for example.

We invite suggestions for podcast episodes.

People could send us mp3s or mp4s of to 10 minutes and we’ll include them in the podcast, especially if you’re out of town and haven’t been on the podcast. Possible topics include places that you like to write at, places that appear in your poems or that you feel connected with, a poetry book or chapbook that you’ve recently enjoyed.

Aaron invites people to submit photo essays to the blog he co-runs with Justin Labelle: https://describingspace.wordpress.com/places/

Conclusion

Thanks to everyone who’s listened and shared the episodes. Thanks to those we’ve interviewed, the publishers for sending books, thanks to Charles Earl for processing and Jennifer Pederson for intros and outros. Thanks to a.m. kozak. thanks to the reading series and event organizers who make this town and others damn interesting by organizing and applying for grants and keeping these things running. thanks to poets for continuing to write engaging work that gives us something interesting to discuss.

Stay tuned for the next episode!