Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

"RON-RY WITHOUT YOU." GRAND PRIZE for blog responders

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"How can I miss you when you won't go away?

Our friend Dan Hicks wrote that famous line. Dan is a great musician and songwriter but something of a curmudgeon. What will we say when he is dead, presuming he pre-deceases us?

Doug Henderson, a poet friend who is an Anglican Buddhist (hey, oxymorons are commonplace in this game: how about arts community?) says ,"Never speak ill of the dead." He also says, "If you wait long enough beside the river of life, the bodies of all your enemies will float by," and,"revenge tastes better cold."


Earlier in this blog, I took a swipe at Ted Hughes, who was a great poet and scholar, and some think he was victimised by the feminist scholars who made his wife Sylvia Plath into a holy icon.

Anyone who has known a manic-depressive (or bi-polar in new jargon) knows they can be difficult to live with, especially when off meds. Nonetheless, Ted was a difficult case himself. Is it a sacrilege to say that?

What about that famous anti-semite Wagner. Do we listen to the beautiful music and hold back from saying,"Whence came this?" Leonard Cohen told us diamonds grew in the shit, and anyone who has seen the film Blood Diamonds knows he was right.

I have jabber disease (the name of our kid's band) and I find it difficult to stay quiet.

Hidden Brook Press is putting together an anthology of poetry and essays about Al Purdy to support the purchase of the Purdy's house at Ameliasburgh to use as a writer's retreat. I am editing the chapter on People's Poets. This assignment excited me because there has been so much controvery around the award (I was badly slagged by an ambitious young journalist who didn't take into account that nobody was listening)

For your information, PP (which strikes me as appropriate given the status of poets in this country, an attitude now institutionalised by our Prime Minister, whatshisname).

What defines a People's Poet? What level of political correctness or incorrectness is acceptable?

One of the laureates said that he had intensely disagreed with Al. Should he be included?"Of course," I said. "All the better." As for myself, I am not bowing down to the Voice of the Land. Al was an amazing writer and a great sparring partner, but he was often a pain in the ass. Should that be ignored? Should I shut up out of respect to his angel wife whom I adore? NO! She knew how to back him into a corner and that is a tradition I respect. We are women of spirit, and we get the last word. Al would appreciate those rules of engagement. He loved a good rumble.

HERE COMES THE QUESTION! WHAT DO YOU THINK? I've been blabbing (blogging) away for a few weeks now and you are remarkably non-interactive. Surely I have pissed somebody off. If you disagree with what I have to say or want to add to it, please do.

My time will be up at the end of November and, HOW WILL I MISS YOU IF YOU NEVER SAY A WORD? (apologies to Wordy and others who have made a sqeak)

If you want democracy to survive the Harper years, then get into the forum. Speak your mind. I want to miss you when I'm gone.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Linda Rogers

Linda Rogers is the author of the novels Say My Name (Ekstasis Editions, 2000), Friday Water (Cormorant Books, 2003) and The Empress Letters (Cormorant Books, 2007). She has also published several collections of poetry, including Love in the Rainforest (Exile Editions, 1996), Heaven Cake (Sono Nis Press, 1997), The Saning (Sono Nis Press, 1999) and The Bursting Test (Guernica Editions, 2002).

Go to Linda Rogers’s Author Page