Dave Margoshes is a Regina poet and fiction writer. He’s published a dozen books, including three volumes of poetry, the most recent being Purity of Absence, in 2001, from Beach Holme Press. Earlier books were Walking at Brighton (Thistledown) andNorthwest Passage (Oberon). A new book of poetry,The Horse Knows the Way, is appearing in fall 2009 from Buschek Books. His last book, Bix’s Trumpet and Other Stories, won two prizes at the 2007 Saskatchewan Book Awards, including Book of the Year. He’s won a number of other writing awards, including the Stephen Leacock Prize for Poetry and second prize in the League of Canadian Poets’ National Poetry Contest. He’s a past vice president of the League of Canadian Poets.
Questions & Answers
Is there a specific moment that inspired you to pursue poetry?
Not really. Well… I was 16, already writing stories, though mostly in my head. I wrote a poem in hopes of impressing a girl, who was writing poems herself. It didn’t work, but the poetry stuck.
How/where do you find inspiration today?
Everything and anything and can spark a poem. It’s about keeping your eyes open and, as the American poet Louis Simpson says, really listening. Reading poetry is a sure way to get my own writing juices flowing.
What is your writing process?
When the idea comes, I just open myself to it an go with it. I worry about what it’s all about, form structure, craft, etc. later. That first draft is pure mysterious magic. The craft and art and work of poetry come later, in the revisions.
What is your revision/editing process?
Nose to the grindstone. Work. Keep working it until the poem takes shape. Keep working it until it feels right.
Do you use any resources that a young poet would find useful (e.g. websites, text books, etc.)?
Not really. What I do, and what I recommend, is to read a lot of poetry. And I don’t mean Shakespeare etc.—read what’s being written today.
When you were high school aged, what would have been helpful/motivating to hear from a published poet?
Definitely. I had no idea what a poet—or any kind of writer—was like. I just knew I wanted to be one.