The other day I spent the morning catching up on some non-writing stuff while listening to an interview with poet and publisher Michael Casteels, a friend and colleague of mine from my time living in Kingston. I’ve raved about Michael’s work a number of times already, but if you like really neat, really deep poetry then you have to check him out.
The interview was held on “Finding a Voice,” which is a weekly radio show on CFRC in Kingston, hosted by another friend of mine, poet Bruce Kauffman. You can find a recording of the interview at the Finding a Voice website.
I don’t think I’ve read or listened to a poem by Michael that I haven’t enjoyed. Of the work that he reads in the interview, I was particularly intrigued by a poem called “Grocery Day,” which describes a cops-and-robbers game that turns darkly surreal, to the point where I wasn’t sure whether the game had suddenly turned real or if the speaker’s imagination was running far too wild. Believe it or not, the poem actually gave me chills. Another excellent poem in the selection is “The Red Light,” which I heard the last time I saw Michael at a reading night for the Ottawa Small Press Book Fair in the spring. Overall, though, the interview was an excellent sample of Michael’s newest work.
I also spent part of my morning finishing adjustments to my desk in our office. New external monitor in place (which used to be my wife’s) for when I need to be looking quickly between my draft and the pages upon pages of research I’ve done for my novel. Opposite the monitor, I decided to stack the anthologies that have come out featuring my work, as that little extra reminder of what I’ve accomplished so far as a writer. I’m looking at that admittedly-small stack right now, and I think its presence is going to help with the energy at my desk. Once the stack gets bigger, though, I may need to redecorate again…