Marshall Bood lives in Regina, Saskatchewan with his beautiful cat. His debut collection is Spring Cleaning (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2021).
1 - How did your first book change your life? How does your most recent work compare to your previous? How does it feel different?
UDP placed so much care into creating my hand-bound chapbook — my sense of gratitude increased.
2 - How did you come to poetry first, as opposed to, say, fiction or non-fiction?
Not long after my uncle played a Leonard Cohen album for me, I soon found the Cohen poetry volumes in my Mom’s library.
3 - How long does it take to start any particular writing project? Does your writing initially come quickly, or is it a slow process? Do first drafts appear looking close to their final shape, or does your work come out of copious notes?
It’s usually very fast. Usually there is only one draft.
4 - Where does a poem usually begin for you? Are you an author of short pieces that end up combining into a larger project, or are you working on a "book" from the very beginning?
Most of my poems will probably never be in a book form. I look ahead to deadlines of journals.
5 - Are public readings part of or counter to your creative process? Are you the sort of writer who enjoys doing readings?
Bad stage fright — hoping to overcome this with more practice.
6 - Do you have any theoretical concerns behind your writing? What kinds of questions are you trying to answer with your work? What do you even think the current questions are?
The Japanese concept of wabi-sabi. I ask myself questions like is litter more beautiful inside or outside.
7 – What do you see the current role of the writer being in larger culture? Do they even have one? What do you think the role of the writer should be?
I can really speak only for myself, but I think that poetry is healing.
8 - Do you find the process of working with an outside editor difficult or essential (or both)?
All of the poems in my chapbook were previously published so there weren’t a lot of edits. My editor did a great job helping me select the poems and minor edits.
9 - What is the best piece of advice you've heard (not necessarily given to you directly)?
When I was recovering from psychosis and I wanted to get back to reading so badly, another patient told me, “Sometimes you just hold onto a book.”
10 - What kind of writing routine do you tend to keep, or do you even have one? How does a typical day (for you) begin?
I try to stay alert throughout the day. Taking my notebook and pen out in the morning seems to help — my cat thinks they are toys.
11 - When your writing gets stalled, where do you turn or return for (for lack of a better word) inspiration?
I go for long walks. I also try to turn my ruminating into poetry — lemonade out of lemons.
12 - What fragrance reminds you of home?
Coffee — my Mom was a high school teacher.
13 - David W. McFadden once said that books come from books, but are there any other forms that influence your work, whether nature, music, science or visual art?
Maybe film because my poetry is very visual.
14 - What other writers or writings are important for your work, or simply your life outside of your work?
The beats including the lesser known ones like Jack Micheline and Lew Welch —even though most of them didn’t like the term beat. Charles Bukowski also. I think Alan Pizzarelli has inspired me a lot. I agree with most that Sanford Goldstein is the greatest English language tanka poet. Buson is my favourite haiku master. My earliest poems all sounded a bit like Leonard Cohen. I went through a Frank O’Hara and other New York School Poets phase.
15 - What would you like to do that you haven't yet done?
I have a bucket list of books. I keep finding more books to read.
16 - If you could pick any other occupation to attempt, what would it be? Or, alternately, what do you think you would have ended up doing had you not been a writer?
I think comedian because I like making people laugh. I use humour in my poetry sometimes.
17 - What made you write, as opposed to doing something else?
I love reading!
18 - What was the last great book you read? What was the last great film?
Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis. It is his greatest book. Titane would be my film choice. I usually go to the discount theatre and see them on the big screen to get the full experience.
19 - What are you currently working on?
A collection of micropoetry. The one’s that will never fit into a book are just as important to me, though.
12 or 20 (second series) questions;