Poetical Encounters: An Interview with Jan Conn


In The Fiddlehead review of Jan Conn’s last book, Botero’s Beautiful Horses, M. Travis Lane suggests that the potential surrealism of this poetry collection does not necessarily lead us towards “unrealism”; on the contrary, it may point us to “alternative realities” (201). It is exactly from such recognition of possibilities, alternatives, and newness that the following interview with Jan Conn can be fruitfully read. Conn has been writing poetry since the 1970s. With eight books published, her most recent is Edge Effects (2012). Many of her poems have been published in a variety of anthologies and literary journals. By reading her pieces, one might become aware of a constant and almost inexhaustible interest in observation and re-creation of meanings that come through the unpredicted connections between what she calls “the borders, or memory chasms” of inner and outer spaces. In this context, her writing is attentive not only to the element of surprise but also to where unexpectedness might take us in the creation of new knowledge or new ways of seeing. The following interview opens a door to the varied ways of reading and enjoying Conn’s writing.

This article “Poetical Encounters: An Interview with Jan Conn” originally appeared in Of Borders and Bioregions. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 218 (Autumn 2013): 86-97.

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