Dr. Micheline Maylor is the past Poet Laureate of Calgary 2016-18. She is a University of Calgary Senator, a Tedx talker, a Walrus talker, and she was the Calgary Public Library Author in Residence (2016). Micheline attained a Ph.D. at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in English Language and Literature with a specialization in Creative Writing and 20th Century Canadian Literature. She teaches creative writing at Mount Royal University in Calgary, where she won the 2015 Teaching Excellence Award and was short-listed for the Robert Kroetsch award for experimental poetry. She serves as poetry acquisitions editor at Frontenac House Press. She is the co-founder of Freefall Literary Society and remains a consulting editor. Her most recent book Little Wildheart (U of A Press 2017) was long listed for both the Pat Lowther and the Raymond Souster Awards.
In elementary school, I read a lot of poetry, Shel Silverstein’s Where The Sidewalk Ends. I read that book until the spine cracked. At one point, I had most of “Sick” memorized. When I was in high school, poetry become less impotant at school, but came to be important through music and lyrics. The Police, Bob Marley, the later Beatles albums. I also remember the art of a dirty limerick. But the music said something about lyric, narrative, and rhythm that had me hooked. those were the gateway Oscar Wilde, Sylvia Plath, William Carlos Williams, and more.
I first started writing poetry in grade three, when eveyone is asked to do so in elementary school. I wrote a poem about skiing, even though I didn’t ski. But ski rhymes with a lot of things, so I went for it. I didn’t start thinking of myself as a poet until deep into university when I started having poems published and gaining some outside acceptance. We all have these invisible lines in our heads about when that might happen. “What’s yours?” I ask my students. It’s interesting to hear what they say.
A poet’s job is to wrestle with the unsayable feeling of living in a complicated life, to illuminate something of expereince, vision, and existence through the word. And to do so in a way that highlights the artistry of language and thought.
Richard Harrison’s “With the Dying of the Light.” That one is so powerfully filled with emotion and image.