J im Smith has been getting a lot of attention lately with his newest poetry collection, Happy Birthday, Nicanor Parra.

His dance card for 2013 readings is filling up, with dates already scheduled for Ontario, Quebec, and B.C.

He recently travelled to Kingston to be interviewed by Bruce Kauffman for “Finding a Voice” on Queen’s University campus station CFRC.

Ottawa poet, publisher (Apt. 9 Press), and literary critic Cameron Amstee wrote an inspired and in-depth appreciation of Jim on his always-interesting blog.

And Open Book Toronto offers up a generous interview with Jim in its “On Writing” feature. Jim is asked there about his ideal writing day. He responds:

The ideal writing day would be the day after Harper had been humiliatingly defeated, taxes had been raised on the rich til they wept in despair, a day when the best had been full of passionate intensity while the worst had lacked all conviction, and an aggressive space exploration program had just been announced (and adequately funded).

Failing that, I wake up and some phrase, the more absurd the better, is rattling around. I write it down before I forget it. I take Bella, my dog, to Cherry Beach and she runs and runs, each time equally joyous, after a tennis ball and brings it back to me. A line or so occurs to me, I will myself to remember it, and repeat it to myself and Bella several times during the walk. I forget it briefly when a pack of dogs surrounds me, but remember part, but altered, after the dogs run off. When I get home, I write what’s left down. Then, for a change, I actually get on the stationary bike and go for a spin. I catch up with another line, and misremember that when I finally get to a piece of paper. All of a sudden, I’m way late for work, but I just need to write a few things down first. Lots of writing at work, but it’s just utilitarian rhetoric. At some point in the day, I type a message into my blackberry and mail it to myself. Back home, I order something for when Jo-Anne gets home from work and all of a sudden, there it is — two hours to play with the notes and lines and randomness.

We believe Jim is one of the most exciting and energetic poets working in Canada, and it appears others are starting to feel the same way!

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