Lagavulin

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 47: Interview with Anita Dolman and James K. Moran

Poet, editor and writer Anita Dolman is the author of Lost Enough: A collection of short stories (Morning Rain Publishing, 2017), and co-editor of Motherhood in Precarious Times (Demeter Press, 2018), an international anthology of poetry and non-fiction. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in numerous journals, magazines and anthologies, including Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology, Canadian Ginger, Hamilton Arts & Letters, Arc Poetry Magazine, On Spec, Grain, PRISM international, The Antigonish Review, and Triangulation: Lost Voices. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, and was a finalist for the 2015 Alberta Magazine Award for fiction. Dolman is a contributing editor for Arc Poetry Magazine, and was interim Arts editor for This Magazine’s upcoming September issue.

Ottawa author James K. Moran’s speculative fiction and poetry have appeared in Canadian, American and British publications including Icarus, On Spec and Glitterwolf. His poetry recently appeared in Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology (Mansfield Press) and Bywords,ca. Moran’s articles have appeared via CBC Radio, Daily Xtra and Rue Morgue. 

In 2012, he founded the Little Workshop of Horrors, an Ottawa-based writers’ group that carves speculative and literary work into the shape it is meant to be. Moran also runs Queer Speculations, a writers’ group that workshops queer-themed stories from far and wide. Town & Train (Lethe Press, 2014) is Moran’s debut horror novel. He blogs at jameskmoran.blogspot.ca. Right now, he is likely at work, editing his second horror novel.

We talk about James and Anita’s first meeting, their relationship to each other’s writing and how it has evolved over the years, balance between writing, making money and child raising, the benefits of both being writers, dealing with rejections, procrastination, the writing life, doing readings together,  the arbitrary labelling of genre vs. literature, being open to genre, writing speculative fiction, featuring at writers’ conferences, ego. I ask for advice for other couples who are writers and James suggests it’s best to know each other as writers first, the importance of being honest with one another and not taking criticism personally. Anita talks about the competition for writers due to the grant system, the scarcity model of industries like writing.

We talk about books and reading, mutual and different interests. We talk about how their son relates to them as writers and about his love of reading and the books James and Anita passed on to him because of their own love for the books when they were his age.

I ask whether either one of them write speculative stuff into their poetry. I ask about their current projects.

Links

Confluence – http://parsec-sff.org/confluence/

Dorothea Brande – Becoming A Writer https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/349430/becoming-a-writer-by-dorothea-brande/9780874771640/

Arc Poetry Magazine: http://arcpoetry.ca/

World of Tea https://www.world-of-tea.ca/

Amber Dawn http://www.amberdawnwrites.com/

The Word Balloon Podcast http://wordballoon.blogspot.com/

Cornwall & Area Pop Event https://cornwallpopevent.com/

Thanks to Anita and James, to Charles for processing the episode, for Jennifer Pederson for the intro and outro and to you for listening. Please share the link to the episode. Stay tuned for a new episode soon!

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