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Q&A with New Brunswick poet Sue Sinclair

New Brunswick poet Sue Sinclair is the author of four books of poetry: Secrets of Weather & Hope (Brick Books, 2001), Mortal Arguments (Brick, 2003), The Drunken Lovely Bird (Goose Lane Editions, 2004), and Breaker (Brick, 2008). In 2005, she received the International Independent Publisher’s Award for Poetry, and has been shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and an Atlantic Poetry Prize.

Sinclair is currently writer-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick. On March 12, she will read from Breaker at UNB’s Lorenzo Reading Series in Saint John.

What are the responsibilities of a writer-in-residence at UNB?
The job is split in two: part of my time is devoted to working on my own literary projects and the other part is for supporting the development of the literary community around me.

Why is the Lorenzo Reading Series important to New Brunswick?
The series is of national calibre and gives New Brunswickers the chance to hear some of the most accomplished writers in Canada read their work.

Why poetry?
The poem may respond to a moment or event that is clearly marked as occasional: the new year, say, or the death of a father. Or the poem may notice what is less obviously an occasion: an apple at rest on a table, a plane exhaling exhaust across the afternoon sky. The poem can be a kind of ceremony that draws one’s attention to a moment or constellation of moments worth pausing to consider.

What are you currently working on?
I’m working on a series of poems called “Exercises in Beauty” that springs from the work I’ve been doing in philosophy. Each poem asks readers to imagine something beautiful, then poses questions about what we might take the beauty of such a thing to be, and how this beauty may, or may not, fit into other aspects of our lives and world.


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