Episode 29: Paul Meunier interviews Liz Howard

Jan 16, 2022

In this interview, Liz talks about her book Letters in a Bruised Cosmos. The conversation also focuses on Liz’s degree in Scientific Psychology and on her work in laborites. Liz explains how her degree and the experience in this field influence the way she writes poetry. As well, Paul and Liz discuss the ways we interact with online communities during COVID 19 and the challenges that come with such interaction. Liz also narrates her experience while living in Calgary and being the writer in residence at the University of Calgary.
Liz Howard’s debut collection Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent won the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize, was shortlisted for the 2015 Governor General’s Award for poetry, and was named a Globe and Mail top 100 book. Her second collection, Letters in a Bruised Cosmos, was published in June 2021. Howard received an Honours Bachelor of Science with High Distinction from the University of Toronto, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. She is of mixed settler and Anishinaabe heritage. Born and raised on Treaty 9 territory in northern Ontario, she currently lives in Toronto. 

Paul Meunier is currently an English Ph.D. candidate at the University of Calgary. Paul’s poetry explores spaces between experimental form and subject representation, and his work has been published in NōD Magazine, filling Station Magazine, The Anti-Languorous Project, and more. Paul’s SSHRC-funded dissertation, “Mapping Poetics,” navigates Calgary’s queer history through experimental poetry, exploring how atemporal crossings weave between past, present, and a poetics of queer futurity. Paul also studied photography at the Alberta College of Art + Design, now AUArts, back when chemical processing was still hip.Show notes:

04:30 – Liz talks about her new book Letters in a Bruised Cosmos
The first collection is Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent
08:02 – Liz talks about her undergraduate degree in Scientific Psychology and her work in laboratories.
13:18 – How did studying psychology inform Liz’s poetry writing?
13:25- The poetry workshop with Dionne Brand
The interest in epistolary literature
17:28 – Reading “Settler—Anishinaabekwe—Noli Turbare.”
20:38 – Reading “Life cycle of an animal called she.”
24:19 – Liz talks about how her new book relates to her broader collection of work.
27:30 – Talking about experiments in psychology
31:56 – Sharing the authors that Liz always return to
Erín Moure, Lisa Robertson, Margaret Christakos, Ariana Reines
32:19 – Canisia Lubrin and her book is The Dyzgraphxst
32:50 – Sylvia Plath
34:34 – The relationships with writers and online communities during COVID19 lock down.

37:35 – Liz talks about her involvement with InkWell Workshops
40:09 – The experience as a writer in residence at the University of Calgary and meeting Kaitlyn Purcell and Joshua Whitehead
42:09 – The things that bring Liz joy
43:00 – Nicole Byer is the host of Nailed It! and the Podcast Why Won’t You Date Me?
43:57 – Yamaneika Saunders and her album is Damsel in Distress
44:08 – Tig Notaro and Maria Bamford
44:42 – Who is Sir Thomas Brown?
45:49 – A release of a new book during the pandemic. 

TIA House recognizes the generous support of the Canada Research Chairs program and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. We also appreciate the support of the Faculty of Arts and the Department of English at the University of Calgary, where our offices are housed, as well as the guidance of Marc Stoeckle at the Taylor Family Digital Library.

TIA House is run by Larissa Lai, Shuyin Yu, Ryan Stearne, Marc Lynch, Paul Meunier, and Mahmoud Ababneh.

Our Intro/Outro music is Monarch of the Streets by Loyalty Freak Music, accessed from the Free Music Archive.


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