We were delighted to catch up with Canadian poet Richard Harrison recently, who was passing through Oxford en route to Italy where he was to launch a new Italian translation of his poetry. Whilst he was in town, Richard gave an inspiring reading at the Society Cafe, and beforehand sat down with the Director of the Poetry Centre, Niall Munro, to discuss his work.
In this interview Niall and Richard talk about the structure of Richard’s award-winning book On Not Losing My Father’s Ashes in the Flood and the editing process; his relationship with his father who died from dementia; writing about grief; and the capabilities of poetry.
You can also read a slightly different version of the interview on the Poetry Centre blog.
Richard Harrison is a multiple-award-winning poet, essayist, and editor. His most recent book, On Not Losing My Father's Ashes in the Flood, was awarded the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry. The book was also shortlisted for the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize and won the Stephan G. Stephansson Alberta Poetry Prize. His six books of poetry include Big Breath of a Wish, poems about his daughter’s acquisition of language, and Hero of the Play, poems in the language of hockey, launched at the Hockey Hall of Fame.