Sunday, August 1, 2010

poetikat's blog tour stops by the manor

My bloggy friend, Kat Mortensen, asked me if I would be gracious enough to host a spot here at Life at Willow Manor on her new chapbook's official Blog Tour. Kat's Poetikat's Invisible Keepsakes was one of the very first blogs I found, back when I started blogging, just over two years ago. Not only did we connect on a poetical level, but she also happens to be quite a film buff, and well, just plain fun. Kat writes most often in delightful rhyming form, with just the right amount of sparkling wit.

Her instructions were for me to ask her three interview questions. So without further ado, here they are:

1) Who is your favorite poet, and why?

I don't think I can narrow it down to one. I like the work of many and varied poets. As with most things in my life, be it food, film, literature, music or art in general, I have eclectic tastes. I enjoy the classical, romantic poetry of Coleridge, Wordsworth and Robert Browning, but I am equally happy to delve into more modern poets such as, T. S. Eliot, Edwin Arlington Robinson, or Ursula LeGuin for example. I do enjoy building my collection and my method coincides nicely with my preference for diverse work — I pick up most of my books at thrift and used book stores. I have a growing collection of the Canadian poets and am particularly fond of Robert Service, Earl Birney and E. Pauline Johnson.

To be more precise in responding to your question, I would say, my favourite poet is the one I happen to be reading at the time I'm asked, so currently, my favourite is Irish writer, Dave Lordan and his fine work in "Invitation To a Sacrifice" (Salmon Poetry).

2) What is your most unusual inspiration experience?

That would have to be what inspired one of my very first poems, "Dorothy's Adventure". The source of the poem came from a news-story about a skunk from California who stowed away in a truck and ended up in Toronto, Ontario. The issue was how to get the skunk back home and experts were brought in to resolve it, but what happened ultimately was that two radio disc-jockeys offered to drive up to Canada and take the skunk back with them in a Winnebago! Well, I could not resist writing about that! In fact, there was a competition in our national newspaper to name the skunk and I entered it, offering the suggested name of "Dorothy" because she "fell asleep and woke up in a strange new world". I won the contest and "Dorothy" the skunk went on to be rescued and released. Of course, my poem has a bit of a cynical twist at the end, because I never see things in "black and white".

3) What influenced you when making the decision to self-publish?

I am not one to enter many contests with my poetry, nor do I try very hard to get published in literary magazines. As a result, I have only my blog and my catalogue of poems to stand behind me in the pursuit of being "traditionally" published. I did not foresee that publishers would take much interest without the obligatory accolades associated with a "legitimate" poet. I also believe there is, unfortunately, somewhat of a stigma associated with being a "blog-poet". The bottom line however, is that I'm a rather impatient person and the relative immediacy of self-publishing was too much for me to resist. I have no regrets, now that I've got a reliable printer/publisher in Volumes Publishing Ltd., and I fully intend to utilize their services again for my next book.

To purchase Kat's new book Shadowstalking visit Volumes Publishing.


  1. How wonderful of you to help along, Willow and the questions were excellent. You are a natural interviewer :) And thank you for introducing me to Kat, it's alway wonderful to meet fellow poets :D

  2. Good questions, Willow & good responses, Kat! I was interested in the self-publishing question because I've done that too, tho I came from a more "traditional" background in the poebiz side of academia. Kat's answer was good; I'd add that unless someone is actively pursuing an academic career as a poet, the "game" of "poebiz" poetry publishing is probably not worth the time it takes. There may be some more $ involved, but not large sums, & 99% of the books hit the remainder bins very quickly.

  3. Thanks for your input, John, on the self-publishing question. As you know, I've been weighing my options on this subject, as well.

  4. I'm fascinated by the story of Dorothy and wish that Kat had included the poem.

  5. What good questions --- and answers.
    I have enjoyed Kat's poems and will buy the book.

    Traditional publishing is really all dependent on fashion and whim
    self-publishing is becoming much more respectable
    and much less stressful
    and you get a REAL audience even if it is not a huge one!

  6. I enjoyed the questions and the answers. Thanks so much.

  7. Thank you for introducing me to Kat Mortensen!
    The story about Dorothy the Skunk is hilarious. ;-)

  8. Thanks for the introduction to her, Willow! I'll have to check out her poems. Always good to learn of new word-smiths.

  9. Thank you for the introduction; those are great questions. Love Dorothy the skunk and that Kat's favorite poet is the one she happens to be reading at the time--we can all relate to that!

  10. thanks for introducing me to another wonderful writer. an interview in three questions - a challenge 4 sure.

    also, thanks for the FB connect. see you around...

  11. Oh, worth it for the skunk story alone! And I never thought I'd be typing that about an interview with a poet.
    Thanks willow and Kat: interesting, informative as always.

  12. Ah, the more questions we read the answers to, the more we learn about Kat. It is like us all jointly painting a rather splendid portrait of her. Blogging at its best.

  13. I hopped on the poetikat bus and rode along the "world tour" - fantastic! :-) Shadows Talking to Shadow Stalking, no matter which way one sees and reads it, it is always a pleasure. Thank you!

  14. Hi! Willow...
    I'am just stopping by to "congratulate Poetikat, on self-publishing her own book.
    The interview with Poetikat, was very enlighting and interesting.
    Thanks, for sharing!

    DeeDee ;-D
    [Postscript:I plan to check out your current DVD suggestion and I like your duo "smell" of summer too!]

  15. Oops! Willow, I'am so sorry about that I meant to say... the duo that you're listening to...

    I was thinking about the "smell" of freshly cut grass.

  16. Insightful answers there from Kat and I did enjoy seeing this recent photo too. So sort of book worm like in a glorious way. Great questions too, Willow, especially that 2nd one.

  17. Thanks for the introduction and interview.

    Love the skunk story. And the fact that I live near Toronto. And that she is a published poet...

  18. Hi Willow! It was a long weekend for us, or I would have noticed this sooner. Thanks for being a terrific interviewer; it was fun. I'm glad we got to know each other way back and am sure we'll be blog-friends for some time to come.

    Thanks to all your wonderful visitors who were so generous with their comments. I hope they are inclined to investigate my book further.

    All the best!



Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)