Alice Burdick

Alice Burdick's picture
Biography: 

Alice Burdick lives in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. She is the author of many chapbooks and four full-length poetry collections, Simple Master (2002), Flutter (2008), Holler (2012), and Book of Short Sentences (2016). Deportment, a book of selected poems, came out November 2018 from Wilfrid Laurier University Press. 

Alice's poetry has been described as playful, surreal and imagistic. She often writes about daily life as well as internal and external landscapes, and doesn't shy away from satire or the anti-sentimental lyric. Influences have included Emily Dickinson, Marina Tsvetayeva, Frank OHara, Lorine Niedecker, Ted Berrigan, and Anne Waldman.

Her work has also appeared in several anthologies including Surreal Estate: 13 Canadian Poets Under the Influence  and Rogue Stimulus: The Stephen Harper Holiday Anthology for a Prorogued Parliament. She co-owns an independent bookstore in Lunenburg called Lexicon Books.

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?: 

I have loved poetry since I was a child, but especially since high school and onward. I loved Frank O’Hara's “Having a Coke With You” — and still do!

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

I started to write poetry in earnest when I was around 16 or so, after attending a wonderful extra-curricular class called The Dream Class in Toronto. I didn’t start to think of myself as a poet really until I immersed in the micropress/small press scene in the early 90s (when I was in my early 20s).

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

I believe the job varies. The primary job is to perfect your craft — and that means reading a lot of other poets widely, and editing frequently. To explore new realms with your poetry, to follow where it leads, down unknown paths, to change.

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

Because I love Frank O’Hara so much, I’d go with “The Day Lady Died!” But of course, there are so many very excellent poems from which to choose.

Publications: 
Title: 
Book of Short Sentences
Publisher: 
Mansfield Press
Editors: 
Stuart Ross
Date: 
2016
Publication type: 
Book
Title: 
Deportment: The Poetry of Alice Burdick
Publisher: 
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Editors: 
Alessandro Porco
Date: 
2018
Publication type: 
Book
Title: 
Holler
Publisher: 
Mansfield Press
Editors: 
Stuart Ross
Date: 
2012
Publication type: 
Book