Psychology was my Major for the first three years of university. Then I registered for a Creative Writing course with Dr. John Steffler and my whole outlook on what I was going to do with my life changed. I can’t remember his exact words but he basically told me that I needed to write. So I did.
Far beyond my little space in the world, John Steffler has cultivated a place for himself in the landscape of Canadian literature over four decades. Author of eight books and Parliamentary Poet Laureate from 2006-2008, he has significantly contributed to Canada’s literary culture. His writing has been widely published in various journals and he has received many grants and prizes including the Smithbooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Thomas Raddall Award for The Afterlife of George Cartwright.
Reading now: Mircea Eliade: Shamanism; Francois Jacqmin: The Book of Snow (trans. Philip Mosley); Adonis: Selected Poems (trans. Khaled Mattawa)
Next in line: Jean Clottes: Cave Art
Everyone should read: Czeslaw Milosz: The Collected Poems
Three books you’d want with you on a desert island: Homer: The Odyssey (trans. Richmond Lattimore; Shakespeare’s plays; Rilke’s poetry translated by Stephen Mitchell
A character you’d like in your life: Chuang Tzu
Guilty pleasure: Travel guides to places I’ll probably never actually visit
Shameless plug: Don McKay’s poetry
Reminds you of home: Alice Munro’s stories of small town and rural south-western Ontario
A book that got left behind: Proust’s Remembrances of Things Past
One you wish you had written: David Malouf’s An Imaginary Life