Travels with Tim and Lisa

"If my discoveries are other people's commonplaces I cannot help it – for me they retain a momentous freshness" (Elizabeth Bowen)

Auckland Writers Festival: In conversation with Anne Michaels

Posted by Lisa Hill on May 17, 2019

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

The Canadian writer Anne Michaels is renowned as a poet, novelist and essayist, best known for her award-winning debut novel Fugitive Pieces (1996, see my review here) but also for The Winter Vault (2009) and seven collections of poems.  In 2015 she was the poet laureate for Toronto, seeking as she said, language for the inexpressible, exploring the difference between silence and muteness, and she began the session by reading a couple of poems that she said were written in the wake of the loss of people she loved best.

In conversation, she chooses her words carefully.  Writing is a rigorous discipline, and she doesn’t agree with manipulating language to suit an agenda.  Certainty, she thinks, usually leads to something false.  It’s what you want to say that determines how you write it, and that’s part of the relationship between the reader and the writer. 

Mysteries like the…

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