Micheline Maylor

Micheline Maylor's picture
Photo credit: 
Christina Riches
Biography: 

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. 

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?: 

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. 

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

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. 

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

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. 

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

Richard Harrison’s “With the Dying of the Light.” That one is so powerfully filled with emotion and image. 

Publications: 
Title: 
Little Wildheart
Publisher: 
University of Alberta Press
Editors: 
Peter Midgley
Date: 
2017
Publication type: 
Book
Title: 
Whirr and Click
Publisher: 
Frontenac House Press
Editors: 
Rose Scollard
Date: 
2013
Publication type: 
Book
Title: 
Full Depth: The Raymond Knister Poems
Publisher: 
Wolsak and Wynn
Editors: 
Maria Jacobs
Date: 
2007
Publication type: 
Book