Books·Magic 8 Q&A

Why Jeff Latosik believes poetry can be 'chaotic and hard to chart'

The author of the poetry collection Dreampad answers eight questions from eight fellow authors.
Jeff Latosik is a poet and author based in Toronto. (Elyse Friedman/McClelland & Stewart)

April is National Poetry Month and CBC Books is highlighting Canadian poets throughout the month.

Jeff Latosik is a Toronto-based poet. His latest collection, Dreampad, delves into a world of cold metal, wires and machinations and explores just how interconnected our lives are with the virtual world.

Below, Latosik takes the CBC Books Magic 8 Q&A and answers eight questions from eight fellow authors.

1. Canisia Lubrin asks, "What is the one piece of writing advice you've received from someone that you regularly practice?"

Don't worry about where your work will end up. Just try to make it as good as you can.

2. Adeena Karasick asks, "What recurring themes, tropes or obsessions appear through all your books?"

It's hard to say. Maybe the writer is not, in every case, the best person to weigh in on this. Some writers are working on a specific terrain but others don't conceive of their work in those terms. Maybe it's important for this kind of writer not to know what they're writing about exactly. 

3. James Maskalyk asks, "What does your ideal writing day look like?  Location, timing, number of hours?"

The only important aspect would be that I wouldn't be working anywhere else during the day and I would be able to write somewhere alone. No errands, no to-dos.

4. Ahmad Danny Ramadan asks, "What was the longest period of time you ever spent writing?"

I'd have to go back to university days for this one. And then all day would be my answer. Creatively, I don't write for long periods. Poetry, for me, doesn't really lend itself to that constant output. It's more chaotic and hard to chart.

5. Catherine Hernandez asks, "Have you ever been traumatized by what you've written?"

No, I don't think so.

6. Aviaq Johnston asks, "What has been your biggest barrier to overcome in writing?"


7. Alice Kuipers asks, "Do you have a secret writing habit? Something you have to do to be able to get the words on the page?"

I never start writing on the computer. I always start on paper.

8. Lesley Livingston asks, "How far into the process do you have to get before you know that spark will actually ignite?"

I have to get to a point of failure usually and then possible dismissal of what I'm doing. Having the spark ignite requires, in many cases, an initial abandonment of the idea.


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