Adam Pottle

Adam Pottle's picture
Photo credit: 
Tenille Campbell - Sweetmoon Photography
Biography: 

Adam Pottle is a Deaf author whose writing seeks to expand the possibilities of disabled storytelling. His books include the poetry collection Beautiful Mutants, the novel Mantis Dreams, the novella The Bus, and the memoir Voice. His plays include Ultrasound and the groundbreaking Deaf musical The Black Drum. His works have won or been nominated for numerous awards, including Saskatchewan Book Awards, the Acorn-Plantos Prize, and the ReLit Award. He lives in Saskatoon, and in Fall 2021 will begin his tenure as Writer in Residence at Sheridan College.

Micro-interview: 
Did you read poetry when you were in high school? Is there a particular poem that you loved when you were a teenager?: 

Dylan Thomas was my favourite poet in high school. That was before I discovered Canadian and Indigenous writers -- they were never taught in my school. 

"Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night" has been a go-to poem for years. The craftsmanship and emotion are so finely tuned.

When did you first start writing poetry? And then when did you start thinking of yourself as a poet?: 

I started writing poetry when I was 16. My English teacher provoked me into doing so -- he was an incredible storyteller and performer, and I wanted to capture some of that energy on the page.

I'm still trying to earn the title of "poet." I move from genre to genre, from poetry to fiction, fiction to drama. We'll see what happens when or if I write poetry again. Hopefully I'll earn that title.

What do you think a poet’s “job” is?: 

Use the dance of words to demystify the mysterious and make mysterious the mundane.

If you have a poem in our anthology what inspired you to write it?: 

I wrote "School for the Deaf" after reading how Deaf children had been treated at Deaf schools throughout history, particularly here in Saskatoon. The tension between hearing and Deaf people is incredibly thick with poetic possibilities; it's a liminal space in which spoken words, written words, and Sign Language collide and crash. I wanted to see how that happened on the page, and I found that the page is often limiting when writing about Deaf people. The page functions as a cage for words.

If you had to choose one poem to memorize from our anthology, which one would it be?: 

Too many to choose. Too many beautiful works. 

Publications: 
Title: 
Beautiful Mutants
Publisher: 
Caitlin Press
Editors: 
Joe Denham
Date: 
2011
Publication type: 
Book
Poem title(s): 
"School for the Deaf"
Title: 
Changing the Face of Canadian Literature
Publisher: 
Guernica Editions
Editors: 
Dane Swan
Date: 
2020
Publication type: 
Anthology
Title: 
The Bus
Publisher: 
Quattro Editions
Editors: 
Luciano Iacobelli
Date: 
2016
Publication type: 
Book