Poets in Profile: Jamie Sharpe

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Jamie Sharpe

Animal Husbandry Today (ECW Press) is the debut collection from author Jamie Sharpe. In poems that contrast the bestial and the human, Jamie takes the reader on surreal adventures through both urban and wild landscapes. From Nancy Reagan to a hammer, speakers in these pieces explore the the mind and the physical world, mining both for the absurd and the insightful.

Today Jamie tackles our Poets in Profile interview, talking to Open Book about his path to poetry, favourite poems and poetic amnesia.

Find out what inspires, confounds and delights today's Canadian poets by following our series.

Open Book:

Can you describe an experience that you believe contributed to your becoming a poet?

Jamie Sharpe:

The Uptown Theatre staged a screening of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. My girlfriend (now wife) and I went with another couple. A live organist played the score. After the film we walked the couple back to their car. The guy had something to show us — something in their trunk. Shortly after this I started writing poetry.

OB:

What is the first poem you remember being affected by?

JS:

The title poem from James Tate’s Riven Doggeries opened my eyes; a hijacked police helicopter seldom flies into poetry.

OB:

What one poem — from any time period — do you wish you had been the one to write?

JS:

James Richardson’s “The Encyclopedia of the Stones: A Pastoral”

OB:

What has been your most unlikely source of inspiration?

JS:

After years of writing about pork, fuel economy, obelisks… love has finally entered the fray. A harder question: what’s a likely source of inspiration? A trunk full of books (anticlimactic, I know). Anything.

OB:

What do you do when a poem is not working?

JS:

I let it develop amnesia. I let it figure itself out.

OB:

What was the last book of poetry that really knocked your socks off?

JS:

Jaime Forsythe’s debut collection, Sympathy Loophole, knocked my socks off then knit me a new pair. Granary Books just released a beautiful facsimile of Ted Berrigan & Ron Padgett’s 1967 masterpiece, Bean Spasms.

OB:

What is the best thing about being a poet….and what is the worst?

JS:

When I’m poerty-ing, life’s grand. When I’m not poetry-ing, what am I doing?


Jamie Sharpe’s writing and art has appeared in magazines throughout Canada and the U.S., and he is editor of the Associative Press (http://www.theassociativepress.com), a literary and arts journal. He recently moved to the Yukon, where he is working on an MFA through the University of British Columbia’s optional residency program.

For more information about Animal Husbandry Today please visit the ECW Press website.

Buy this book at your local independent bookstore or online at Chapters/Indigo or Amazon.

Check out all the Poets in Profile interviews in our archives.

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