…Or more to the point, what is a falafel? These are some of the questions that arose from the Nightowls & Newborns reading in Regina last night. It was a delightful reading, done salon style, and more questions found their way into the after-session with Kerry Ryan and Ariel Gordon.

After the reading, I had a chance to ask some questions of my own, and here is the questionable interview (well, in multiple choice form) with Kerry Ryan, author of The Sleeping Life, that arose from our gathering:

Kerry: I like reading. I don’t find that I’m usually nervous, although I was for the initial book launch in April in Winnipeg this year, which was packed with nearly 100 people. I haven’t had any special training, such as theatre classes, but I like looking at the audience’s reaction when I catch their eye, and it’s interesting to see their response when I do.Tonight some of the people were even taking notes, probably Gerry’s students, but it’s great to see them engaged with the poetry.

Please pick the question you think most fits this answer:

1. Do you spell comfort with  a “k”?

2. Where is Regina?

3. Do you own a trained elephant?

4. How do you feel about reading, in particular the reading tonight?

Kerry: I feel it’s my job in a way, my duty. Community service. I don’t write poetry for money, but for fun. Although, it’s work, it feels like the thing I should do. Writing is my obligation, but doesn’t come easily, which is what I’m trying to say in my poem “29.”

when i realize

at 29 it’s too late

to become a child prodigy,

that–at best–

i might merely be ordinary,

competant at something

only i am interested in

Please pick the question you think most fits this answer:

1. Could you talk about the waters?

2. Where is the Comfort Inn?

3. Why do you write poetry?

4. Are you an entertainer?

Kerry: Not really. I had many short poems to begin with which my editor cut, but I snuck some back in that I thought worked. Clarise Foster, my editor, was good, and the editing process was heartbreaking but inspiring. This was my first time working with an editor and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m pleased with the strength of the book that resulted from the process.

1. Where are the rye bread, marble cheese, kielbasa, ripple chips, French’s mustard, and pickles?

2. Is there dip?

3. Did you see that woman with the mossy teeth?

4. Do you see your smaller poems as interruptions in the sleep process?

Kerry: I begin from notes in a notebook, usually they can be snippets I hear, or read, words, phrases, but I find that often what starts the poem is what will eventually be cut from the poem. The trigger so to speak. Often I try to save it, but usually nothing comes of the what I’ve cut from a poem.

Please pick the question you most think fits this answer:

1. Do you want to join my book club?

2. Have you ever tried bison carpaccio?

3. Where is the bathroom?

4. How do you write, what is your process?

Kerry: The tour has been great so far. Ariel and I get along really well; we both respect each other’s work, and are peers in Winnipeg. We plan our readings in the car between cities (the tour has hit Saskatoon, Edmonton, Regina, and Prince Albert), which is fun. We try to come up with new ideas on reading the poems, to make the reading interesting for the audience, as well as to break it up for ourselves, so we don’t get tired of the same routine.

Please pick the question you think most fits this answer:

1. Does that necklace only come in black?

2. Would you like a cookie?

3. Are you still pregnant?

4. How is the tour going so far?

6 thoughts on “HOW DO YOU SPELL FALAFEL?

  1. That’s quite the interview! 🙂

    Kerry has a great voice. It was so nice to see her and Ariel in Saskatoon. Sounds like they had a great Regina experience.

  2. Thanks B! Kerry was an amazing reader (they were both great!), very eloquent, and yes, her voice had this thoughtful (not sure that’s the right word, maybe more like commanding) quality about it.

    I enjoyed my time with both writers, and am sad to see them depart the red kitchen for further adventure.

  3. Hopefully not! I think this is cold enough (+5 right now). They are safe and sound in PA eating pizza (I just had a message awhile ago), and I do hope that they don’t have to travel in snow on the way home!

  4. +2 now and not yet 10:30 pm. Pizza would be great right now here too, but alas, no pizza. Popcorn chicken, fries, egg rolls, a thawing turkey, a ham, one head of sour cabbage, those dreaded expensive potatoes, 2 heads of lettuce, one row of beets, carrots, turnips, and maybe some salsa and nacho chips. Yeah. That’s about it. Oh and a loaf of rye bread. I think we’re outta milk though.

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