Saturday 10 March 2012

Amanda Earl


instead i drink tea, take a bath, eat an orange
contemplate the possibilities of emergence

this day idles like a ready-for-takeoff whirligig
frenetic tinfoil pinwheel waiting to spin

O when will we be aprilled
short sharp bright bursts of happy

a clarinet and cello duet sets me in the smoke
but i desire a triple horn fanfare morning


TSTmpj:   What first brought you to writing ghazals?  Who are the best exponents of the form, in your opinion?

Amanda Earl:  My dear friend Jamie Bradley sent me some he'd written. I thought they were excellent & different from other ghazals I'd ever read, imaginative, intense, minimal & painterly. [link to one of his ghazals: .] He was reading John Thompson's Stilt Jack, which I'd always been meaning to read. His ghazals were so intense & immediate, not reflective or abstract. Once I read Thompson's poems, the form caught fire with me & I began to write ghazals of my own in response to his. To me, Thompson, an expatriate American who died in 1976, is the finest exponent of the form.

TSTmpj:   Your web links (below in the bio note) suggest you're full of creative energy.  How do you do all that you do; and if the Powers That Be gave an edict that you had to restrict yourself to just one creative activity, what would it be, and why?

Amanda Earl:  Thanks. Writing & publishing are my chief activities in life. I started fairly late, in my mid 30s to read contemporary poetry & to share my work with others. I am driven to explore & learn & to share these explorations with others so that we can all learn from one another. I think when you are able to spend eight hours or more a day on these activities you can accomplish a lot. I still wish there was more time. There's always so much more to learn.

If the PTBs tried to tell me what to do, I'd resist or find a way to "cheat at this game" as the French poet René Char said. I do what I want to do & heaven help anyone who gets in my way.

TSTmpj:   Who are some of your Canadian contemporaries, in any creative field that you're involved with, that we should look out for?

Amanda Earl:  I have to talk about those from Ottawa & environs since we're so active here. &  I'll have to name people in four disciplines, rather than just one because we cover such a broad range of creativity. In visual art, Michèle Provost. In poetry, Jamie Bradley, Christine McNair, Pearl Pirie, Sandra Ridley. In music, Glenn Nuotio. Unfortunately, John Lavery, the finest & most imaginative contemporary fiction writer I've ever read, died last year, but his novel Sandra Beck & his two short story collections remain. They are brilliant & should be read by anyone who loves word play, crazy, quirky characters & insightful, empathetic studies on human nature.

Bio Note

Amanda Earl is a writer & publisher from Ottawa, Canada. Severe winters & whiskey inspire her obsession with the ghazal

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