David Solway’s most recent book of poetry is The Properties of Things (Biblioasis, 2007). A previous volume, Reaching for Clear (Vehicule Press, Signal Editions, 2007), won the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry awarded by the Quebec Writers’ Federation. An earlier volume, Franklin’s Passage (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2004) was awarded Le Grand Prix du Livre de Montréal. He has won the QSPELL Prize twice, for poetry (Modern Marriage, Véhicule Press, signal Editions, 1989) and for prose (Education Lost, OISE Press, a division of the University of Toronto Press, 1990). He has published several books on education theory and literary criticism with McGill-Queen’s University Press—of the latter Random Walks was shortlisted for the Grand Prix du Livre. His latest volume of literary criticism is Director’s Cut (The Porcupine’s Quill, 2003). A political study, The Big Lie: On Terror, Antisemitism, and Identity, appeared in 2007 with Lester, Mason & Begg/Random House; he is now working on a sequel, Living in the Valley of Shmoon. Appointed poet-in-residence at Concordia University for 1999-2000, he is currently an associate editor with Books in Canada.
Questions & Answers
Is there a specific moment that inspired you to pursue poetry?
How/where do you find inspiration today?
What is your writing process?
Work like hell.
What is your revision/editing process?
Work like hell.
Did you write poetry in high school? If yes, how did you get started? If no, why not?
Yes. It was my way of trying to regain the affection of a girl a young but already-published poet had stolen from me.
Do you use any resources that a young poet would find useful (e.g. websites, text books, etc.)?
No. Apart from reading, travelling and living as vigilantly as possible.
When you were high school aged, what would have been helpful/motivating to hear from a published poet?
Depends on the poet. One can just as easily be deflected by a bum steer as encouraged by informed commentary. One has to rely on the two “goods”: good sense and good luck.