thecanadaproject interviews

TCP interviews Kathryn Mockler, Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of my interview with Kathryn Mockler, author of Onion Man, The Purpose Pitch, and The Saddest Place on Earth:


Onion Man, Continued…

Onion ManRS: Who were your literary influences when writing Onion Man? How long did it take for you to settle on the form of the book, each poem a vertical compressed stack of words, each preceded by that bolded elongated em-dash? Did you try different forms, ways of arranging the text?

KM: Michael Turner’s Company Town and Hard Core Logo and Douglas Burnet Smith’s The Knife Thrower’s Partner were big influences. I also read a lot of Evelyn Lau during the time I was writing this book.

Over the years the poems took on many forms—short lines, long lines, prose blocks, etc. The shape of the poems was something I really struggled with, and after working and working on the line breaks, I settled on the form we see in the book. I didn’t think of the poems as cans until Michael Turner observed this in his blurb on the back of the book, but now I can see how they could be read like that. Whenever I’m working with line and form I usually rely on instincts and happy accidents. The form of Onion Man was a happy accident because it coincided with the content. Continue reading “TCP interviews Kathryn Mockler, Part 3”