Dog-Eared Reads

Why Cherie Dimaline loves Charles Bukowski's poetry

'There is something quite extraordinary about the way he illustrates and lives within the ordinary.'
Métis writer Cherie Dimaline won the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — text for the novel The Marrow Thieves. (Cherie Dimaline/Ecco)
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Cherie Dimaline's is the author of The Marrow Thieves, a dystopian YA novel that was a finalist on Canada Reads 2018, where it was defended by Jully Black. One of her favourite writers is American poet Charles Bukowski.

The voice of a living city

"When I think about a writer I go back to, I think about the American poet Charles Bukowski. He seems like an odd choice — I don't write poetry and he's not really a favourite among feminists. But there is something quite extraordinary about the way he illustrates and lives within the ordinary. He writes in the language of alley ways, if the alley ways could speak and the bricks had voice. There's something honest and immediate about those narratives. It changed my perspective and the way that I look at a walk down a street in east end Toronto or sitting at a dive bar in New Orleans. There's something beautiful about those ordinary moments."

Cherie Dimaline's comments have been edited and condensed.