"May you live in interesting times." So goes the ancient Chinese curse. In Quebec, we are always living in "interesting" times. Where else in Canada, perhaps even the world, do you have official language police that patrol the highways and byways of the province looking for missing accents, illegal apostrophes and on/off switches in the wrong language? Where else in Canada do you have to make sure that sign size matters? Is it 30% bigger or smaller than the other? Where else in Canada do you pause to consider how to say hello to someone before you actually do?
Launched in 2009 on St. Jean Baptiste Day, Poetry Quebec was an online magazine dedicated to showcasing the English-language poets and poetry of "la belle province." Its founding editors and publishers--poets themselves--came from very different backgrounds but shared the desire to make sure the English-language poetry of Quebec got the attention it deserved. In this book, some of the best and most innovative English-language poets of Canada--rising stars and award-winning authors--reflect on these and other questions of politics and poetics. Culled from the website and expanded for this publication, those interviewed include Erin Moure and Stephanie Bolster (winners, Governor General's Award); GG nominee David McGimpsey; Trillium Prize nominee Mary di Michele; Susan Gillis and Gabe Foreman (winners, A.M. Klein Poetry Prize), Carolyn Marie Souaid and Endre Farkas (winners, Zebra International Poetry Film Festival, Berlin); performance poets Catherine Kidd, Moe Clark and kaie kellough; and Rhodes scholar Mark Abley--all contemplating the work they do against the backdrop of this interesting place and time.