Michael Crummey made a big splash a few years ago when he published his third novel Galore. It began with an unforgettable opening scene of the starving residents of an 18th-century Newfoundland outport cutting open the belly of a beached whale and finding mute, reeking man inside.
Galore received national and international acclaim. It was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award, it was a finalist for the IMPAC Dublin Prize, and it won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize.
Michael Crummey recently returned to his writing roots and, for the first time in over a decade, he's published a collection of poetry called Under the Keel. Like most of Michael Crummey's work, many of the poems in the collection are firmly rooted in the past in rural Newfoundland, and they're filled with vivid characters that come right to life. But sometimes Under the Keel has a contemporary feel, taking the reader to present-day India or suburban St. John's. No matter where or when the poems are set, they deliver insights into life that are, by turns, gritty and profound.
We hope you enjoy this extended version of Shelagh's conversation with Michael Crummey.