Posted: Monday February 9, 2015
Interview: rob mclennan interviews Phinder Dulai

Check out rob mclennan’s blog for an interview with poet Phinder Dulai, published late last week. Here is just one question and answer, as a teaser:

What other writers or writings are important for your work, or simply your life outside of your work?

There have been many writers, critical thinkers, artists, film-makers visual artists, as well as quotidian moments of everyday living, listening, and the collation of ephemera that my poetry and creative antennae pick up on. In terms of writing, this includes literature that is considered ‘high art’ and also popular fiction. My bookshelf includes a range of books by authors who make a home in Canada, the U.S., England and other nations. The first time I read something that absolutely shifted my thinking about narrative time was Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. The novel is truly an innovative fiction and engaged a robust re-consideration of narrative time that was revolutionary; and considering it was published in 1929, it adds more weight to Woolf as a true innovator at a time where the great novels were being celebrated. This is equally true of my second defining reading experience that led me to move my commitment to greater learning and discipline in my embryonic stage of writing, and that was after reading Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children and reading all of his subsequent novels. Both these novels really did do that for me in terms of then considering how I have looked at how time is sequenced within fiction and poetry, or in poetry’s case, how that flow is really more like dream time – image experiences that one floats through in a disjointed string of dream tableaus experiences. I see a clear connection to the sub-genre of magic realism to my work in poetry; and there are many poets who may not really have this in their lexicon, but I realize for the work I generate, I am always balancing the use of a clear social realism lens with interior lyric mode of address in poetry.

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