Iain Higgins

Iain Higgins was born in Vancouver in a previous century. Before he wrote poetry he sometimes stopped pucks. One of those pucks may have struck him too hard, because at some point he was afflicted by seriousness and stayed in school too long. This got him a decent job, but whenever he wants to be playful again he writes poetry, which will never get him a decent job. He has published a book of poems called Then Again with Oolichan in 2005 and has another in progress or in limbo, depending.

Questions & Answers

Is there a specific moment that inspired you to pursue poetry?

Not one, but several, I think: hearing a Leonard Cohen song when I was about 20, looking at something and realizing that I wasn’t just seeing it but was also feeling it physically (even the colours), recognizing that words could be literally moving. All of these things happened at about the same time, when I was about 20. Maybe I was just awakening from the long slumber of my life till then.

How/where do you find inspiration today?

The thing about inspiration is that you don’t find it: it finds you. The best you can do is be ready for it, and that involves a stance of alert and yet relaxed openness (the way a goalie might wait for a slapshot from the point), and the openness is multiple. I have to be open-eyed, open-eared, open-handed, open-minded, and open-hearted. One has to be a receiver before one can be a transmitter.

What is your writing process?

It varies, and depends a great deal on work and family commitments. If a poem is coming, though, I try to make space and time for it, as those who once met Odysseus on his travels did for him. Trying to be hospitable to the arriving poem is the best one can do, and on a good day the visitor will stay and you will learn enough to set down an account of it that might count as a poem.

Works by Iain Higgins

Book ReviewsPoetryEditorialsOpinionsBook Reviews of Author

Book Reviews by Iain Higgins

By Iain Higgins
Published in The Literature of Atlantic Canada. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 189 (Summer 2006): 139-142.
  • The Centre: Poems by Barry McKinnon
  • Mountain Tea by Peter Van Toorn
  • Heresies: The Complete Poems of Anne Wilkinson 1924-1961 by Anne Wilkinson and Dean J. Irvine (Editor)
By Iain Higgins
Published in Systems of Value, Structures of Belief. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 128 (Spring 1991): 177-178.
  • Musical Offering by E.D. Blodgett and Iain Higgins
  • Movement in Slow Time by Ann Rosenberg and Iain Higgins

Poetry by Iain Higgins

Editorials by Iain Higgins

Archives and History: A Sextet
By Alain-Michel Rocheleau, Eva-Marie Kröller, Glenn Deer, Kevin McNeilly, Iain Higgins and Susan Fisher
Canadian Literature at 40
By Alain-Michel Rocheleau, Margery Fee, Eva-Marie Kröller, Kevin McNeilly and Iain Higgins
Remembering the Sixties
By Margery Fee, Eva-Marie Kröller, Alain-Michel Rocheleau and Iain Higgins

Opinions by Iain Higgins

Many Mansions
By Iain Higgins
Earle Birney, 1904-1995
By Iain Higgins

Book Reviews of Iain Higgins's Works

Musical Offering
By E.D. Blodgett and Iain Higgins
Reviewed in Silences by Iain Higgins
Movement in Slow Time
By Ann Rosenberg and Iain Higgins
Reviewed in Silences by Iain Higgins
Selected Poems
By Adam Czerniawski and Iain Higgins
Reviewed in Translator Retranslated by Kevin McNeilly