13 October 2020

Michael + Stuart = 70 Kippers

 Over the course of two or three years, Ottawa poet and incredible friend Michael Dennis and I wrote 122 collaborative poems during six writing sessions at his kitchen table. Each session, oddly, lasted three hours and fifteen minutes.

A couple years ago, Burnt Wine Press did a chapbook of about 15 or 16 of the poems.

But we kept editing and tinkering for a year or so, and collected together 70 of the strangest, funniest, sometimes most harrowing poems we'd created. Reading it now really drives home what beautiful things collaboration can do: Michael and I made poems that neither of us could have written alone, poems that only we two could have written together.

70 Kippers: The Dagmar Poems is now a full book, from Proper Tales Press, with a beautiful cover painting by Almonte artist Tom Campbell, whose living room Michael and I read in last year.

I feel in ways like poetry is getting further and further away from me — at least, away from my aesthetic interests — and so it feels like a dare to publish a book like this.

It's got a bit of Borscht belt happening. A bit of Vanier.

I'm sure proud of it. I mean, Michael and I had such a blast writing those things, so if they'd never reached print, it still would have been worth it. But here they are.

Over and out.


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