Friday, June 3, 2011

Interview online

A couple of months ago, I received an email from Angela Rawlings inviting me to take part in a project she was coordinating. Angela had been working with high school students at Malvern Collegiate Institute in Toronto, getting them to write poems and introducing them to the work of contemporary Canadian poets. She thought it would be good for the students, having been introduced to the work of a poet, to make contact with that poet and conduct an interview. I've had fantastic experiences myself interacting with students of that age, so I agreed to take part without hesitation. Since I was going to be in Toronto at the end of March and beginning of April, I asked Angela if the class's teacher would be interested in having me visit. He was, and we worked out a date. I got my interview questions, from a student named Micaela, a few days before the visit, which was pretty great timing. As usual, I had a really fun and rewarding experience talking with and reading to the students at MCI (a school, it turns out, that my grandmother attended!).

Anyway, Angela has now made the interviews--with 30-odd poets in all--public. You can read them here. My interview is here. Angela and teacher John Ouzas deserve a lot of credit for organizing and guiding this project. It seems to me an example of how these things can and should be done, with minimal cost and ample reward.

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