Canadian Poetry Today: The Art and Artist

Sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University Press

Recorded on 04/17/2023
Posted in The Authority File

Episode 311

In the third episode of this four-part series, Tanis MacDonald, professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, discusses how poetry appeals to younger generations due to its (often) short length, accessibility, and experimental, wide-ranging possibilities. She explains why she positions herself as an advocate for poetry, and how the frequently maligned “Insta poetry” can act as a legitimate jumping off point for finding prominent contemporary and classic poets and expanding one’s perception of the medium. Last, Tanis contemplates the art infrastructure available outside of large metropolitan areas, and how that connects to her book, Out of Line: Daring to be an Artist Outside the Big City. She closes by underscoring the need to “step out of line” in your own art, and offers a cautionary message to young artists of the potential for harm and abuse even within art communities.


About the guest:

Tanis MacDonald headshot

Tanis MacDonald
Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies
Wilfrid Laurier University

Tanis MacDonald (she/her) is a Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. She is the author of three books of non-fiction and four books of poetry, and she is the General Editor of the Laurier Poetry Series. Her book The Daughter’s Way: Canadian Women’s Paternal Elegies was a finalist for the 2012 ACQL Gabrielle Roy Prize for Literary Criticism. She is the host and Artistic Director of Watershed Writers, a radio documentary and podcast that champions writers living and working in the Grand River Region in southwestern Ontario, traditional Anishnaabe and Haudenosaunee territories. Her latest book, Straggle: Adventures in Walking While Female, received an Honourable Mention in the 2022 Betsy Warland Between Genres competition.


Enjoy the conversation? Listen to the rest of the series:


Check out our previous series with Wilfrid Laurier University Press:
– Animal Studies, Postcolonial Literature, and Multispecies Modernity
– Unpacking the Personal Library
– Cultivating Indigenous Studies
– Michelle Porter and the Métis Way
– Looking at Community Music


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