Rick Taylor’s work has been published in numerous Literary Journals including Canadian Literature, Grain, The Antigonish Review, The Nashwaak, Lichen, and Vallum. In 2003 he won second prize in the Alternative Writing Contest (poetry) at Ripple Effect Press, and released the litigious chapbook, Proximity of Thieves. In recent years he has turned his snout primarily to screen-writing and in 2008 wrote the script for the short film Get Reel. Rick is originally from Newfoundland and now lives in Kelowna, BC where he can be found prowling the hills with his irascible dogs. He has yet to be eaten by a bear.
Questions & Answers
Is there a specific moment that inspired you to pursue poetry?
There was no specific moment that I recall.
How/where do you find inspiration today?
My inspiration today stems primarily from other writers, like Anne Carson, Cormac McCarthy, and JM Coetzee to name a few. I have always been more responsive to text, or to sudden flashes of image from the ether, rather than nature per se or a given cloud.
What is your writing process?
Once I have a vision I tend to write quickly and without worrying about form or balance or the usual structural concerns. I prefer to write as much as I can and leave my editing brain out of it until later, when the muse has left me alone and the bone-pickers can come out of their little holes.
What is your revision/editing process?
Unfortunately I am a virtually endless editor and keep picking away at the carcass until it is either reduced to bone or published. Once published I am finally able to walk away from the poor thing, with the odd glance over my shoulder.
Did you write poetry in high school? If yes, how did you get started? If no, why not?
My initial, school-aged, forays into poetry arose entirely from the expectations of teachers past. I’m not sure why except perhaps that my school wasn’t exactly an artistic enclave and I was more interested in short story writing at the time. However when I finished high school it was the music of The Doors and the poetry of Jim Morrison that got me started in earnest.
Do you use any resources that a young poet would find useful (e.g. websites, text books, etc.)?
There are many resources out there however the best thing a young writer can do is simply read, read, read. Personally I find that the more I learn about the ‘rules’ of poetry the more inhibited I become. Of course rules and techniques are essential however the writing process is, or should be, organic and not a matter of science.
When you were high school aged, what would have been helpful/motivating to hear from a published poet?
To hear from one period would have been helpful for me. I lived in a smal things and poets were non-existant, at least any that admitted to be so. Had such a person existed in my midst, it would have perhaps been helpful to hear about the process of writing, the actual mechanics. Often when you read someone else’s work, especially the masters like Shakespeare.