It has been over a decade since I first began to try to get Fred Wah to sit down and have an interview about his (now) 60 years of work in poetry. When we did sit in front of our respective Zoom screens on December 9, 2021, he told me it was because I was too busy! HA! (Well…) Now our chat is the latest Cascadian Prophets podcast (available on Spotify and elsewhere) and the video version is below. We talked about his lecture/chapbook The Simple: With The Page Stretching Out From My Feet, his connection to Charles Olson and Robert Duncan, his Music at the Heart of Thinking, Serial Form and the late Canadian poet Phyllis Webb.
Fred Wah lives in Vancouver and the West Kootenays. He was Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate from 2011-2013 and made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2013. His award-winning poetry, fiction, and non-fiction books include Sentenced to Light, collaborations with visual artists; is a door a series of poems about hybridity; Music at the Heart of Thinking and Scree: The Collected Earlier Poems which was published in 2015.
The Simple: With the Page Stretching Out From My Feet is a new chapbook of Fred’s taken from The 9th Annual Page Lecture presented in October, 2020 by Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.