David McFadden takes the Magic 8
Griffin Poetry Prize finalist David McFadden answers questions from the Canadian literati on what keeps him writing, who he wants to come back from the dead to edit his drafts, and why he writes what he writes.
1. From Todd Babiak: If you had to stop writing, due to some fantastical calamity, what career would you pursue and why?
Well, Todd, I guess I would just have to read books instead of writing them. I like to do both anyway. I like to write even though very few people ever pay much attention to my writing. Actually I spend more time reading than I do writing—maybe 60 per cent to 40 per cent.
2. From Gail Bowen: If you could live in the world created by another writer, what fictional world would you choose, and why?
I don't think I'd be interested in such a fictional world. I like to write even though very few people ever pay much attention to my writing.
3. From Cordelia Strube: What keeps you writing?
Well, I just really like doing it. I like to write even though very few people ever pay much attention to my writing.
4. From Lorna Crozier: A question I've never been asked, and fear being asked: What makes you dare to be a writer, to think you have something to say to me?
There's nothing daring or daunting about it. I just do it and enjoy it, that's all. Nothing to be afraid of. I think I care to be a writer, but I don't dare to say anything to anyone about it unless they ask. I like to write even though very few people ever pay much attention to my writing.
5. From Pasha Malla: Who is one writer, living or dead, you wish could edit or critique your drafts?
Umm, maybe Shakespeare? If he wanted to come down to earth and edit my drafts, that would be interesting. I would definitely take a look to see what he was up to, but only if needed. Just a joke.
6. From Zsuzsi Gartner: Why do you write what you write and the way you write it?
Ah, that's just the way I am. It's pretty well just the way I like to write. It's sort of like the way I walk, the way I see the world, and so on.
7. From Sharon Butala: Do you ever feel trapped by your writing life and wish you could escape?
I don't feel I need to escape from anything.
8. From Andrew Pyper: Do you ever worry that the whole practice of writing and reading, while enjoyable and perhaps gratifying, simply doesn't matter very much?
No. That never occurred to me. All I ever want to do is write and read. I've felt that way since I was eight years old. Everybody with any brains wants to read and write now and then. And the smarter they are the more they want to read and write. I might be wrong, of course.
David W. McFadden began writing poetry in 1956 and began publishing poetry in 1958. Why Are You So Sad? Selected Poems of David W. McFadden (2007) was shortlisted for the 2008 Griffin Poetry Prize and Be Calm, Honey (2008) was shortlisted for the 2009 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry (his third such nomination). McFadden is the author of about thirty-five books of poetry, fiction and travel writing. He lives in Toronto.