Paul Vermeersch is a poet, professor, artist, and editor. He is the author of several poetry collections, including the Trillium award–nominated The Reinvention of the Human Hand (M&S, 2010) and Self-Defence for the Brave and Happy (ECW, 2018). Vermeersch holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph, for which he received the Governor General's Gold Medal. His poems are often concerned with civilization and its place in the natural world — from cavemen to robots, from cartoons to monsters, they ask, “What do the representations of human bodies tell us about ourselves?” He teaches at Sheridan College and runs Buckrider Books, an imprint of Wolsak & Wynn Publishers Ltd. He lives in Toronto.
"Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll. I sat on the library floor reading it over and over until I memorized it.
I started writing poetry when I was 12, but I didn't think of myself as a poet until I was in university. It was there where I met other aspiring writers who challenged and encouraged me enough to take my own work seriously. I decided to make myself an expert, and I dedicated myself to studying the craft of poetry both inside and outside the classroom.
It's a lot of things. Writing poems is only a part of it, and I believe it's different for every poet, but for me being a student, teacher and editor is part of the job. I want to engage with my communities to make space and opportunities for other people's work, to create dialogue and remove barriers, to make things possible.
Oh, let it be “The Fish” by Marianne Moore. What otherworldly magic! How wonderful it would be to have such images in me.