Elizabeth Philips

Elizabeth Philips's picture
Photo credit: 
D Larson
Biography: 

Elizabeth Philips is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Torch River. In 2015, she published her first novel, The Afterlife of Birds, winner of the City of Saskatoon Book Award and a finalist for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award. She is the former editor of Grain magazine, and the former director the Banff Centre’s Emerging Writers Intensive.  She is the Acquisition Editor for Thistledown Press and she lives in Saskatoon. 

 

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?: 

Yes.  I loved the poem, "The Swimmer's Moment," by Margaret Avison.  

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

I began writing poetry at the age of 16.  I think I began thinking of myself as a poet at 17. 

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

I think a poet's job is to write about insights and images and events and beliefs and condense them into powerful, beautiful, hair-raising language that takes readers down into those lived moments. 

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

I wrote Jacknife/2 inspired by memories of a childhood in which I was a girl who liked to play sports with boys, who challenged the roles girls were expected to play, and what that felt like. 

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

The Tree by Rina Lasnier, because it is so simple and yet so powerful. and because I am pretty much obsessed by trees and their role in our lives, and in the life of our planet. 

Publications: 
Title: 
70 Canadian Poets,
Publisher: 
Oxford University Press
Editors: 
Gary Geddes, ed.,
Date: 
, 2014.
Publication type: 
Anthology
Title: 
A Blue with Blood in It
Publisher: 
Coteau Books
Date: 
2000
Publication type: 
Book
Title: 
Torch River
Publisher: 
Brick Books
Date: 
2007
Publication type: 
Book