Jenny Haysom

Jenny Haysom's picture
Photo credit: 
Lucy Boyd
Biography: 

 

Jenny Haysom was born in England and raised in Nova Scotia. She has a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Ottawa, and has served as Prose Editor for Arc Poetry Magazine. Her writing has been published widely, in places like CV2, Dusie, The Fiddlehead, The New Quarterly, and The Walrus, as well as in chapbook form (Blinding Afternoons, Anstruther Press). Dividing the Wayside, her first full-length collection of poems, was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and won the Archibald Lampman Award. Jenny's poetic practice is varied, though she particularly enjoys experimenting with traditional forms. Likewise, her subject-matter is wide-reaching, ranging from the personal to the political, from nature to human nature.
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 read a lot of poetry as a child, and took a break from it in highschool, though I do remember liking Emily Dickinson at that age, especially “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain” (340).

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

I first started writing poetry as an undergraduate student, many years ago. Only now, in my forties, do I consider myself a poet.

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

I don't think of poetry as a job; it's more of a vocation, a calling. If we do have a job, it takes place in the margins, offers a point of view that is peripheral to mainstream thinking. For me, a good poet somehow expresses the unspeakable using the tools of poetic craft — like image and metaphor, rhyme and meter — in unique combination.

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

I would memorize Whitman’s “A Noiseless Patient Spider.” It is a beautiful, breathless lyric about the poetic act, about casting one's lines — in a strange act of faith — into the universe with its “measureless oceans of space.”

Publications: 
Title: 
Dividing the Wayside
Publisher: 
Palimpsest Press
Editors: 
Dawn Kresan
Date: 
2018
Publication type: 
Book
Title: 
Blinding Afternoons (chapbook)
Publisher: 
Anstruther Press
Editors: 
Jim Johnstone
Date: 
2017
Publication type: 
Book
Poem title(s): 
The Minister of Loneliness
Title: 
The Minister of Loneliness
Publisher: 
The Walrus
Editors: 
Carmine Starnino
Date: 
2018
Publication type: 
Periodical/Magazine