AbeBooks interviews Susan Musgrave

No one can deny that Susan Musgrave has had a very interesting life.

Her career as a social misfit began when she was kicked out of kindergarten class for laughing, and sent to the library to contemplate her heinous crime while seated on the “Thinking Chair”. She understood, then, that books and thinking must be considered dangerous, and they became her favourite forms of escape.

In Grade 8 she won her first poetry competition, with a poem about Jackie Kennedy visiting her husband’s grave by moonlight in rhyming couplets. Her prize was a copy of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Her first book of poetry was published when she was 19. Of Songs of the Sea Witch , her grandfather said, “Even Shakespeare had to write a lot of rubbish to begin with.”

Since then, Musgrave has been short-listed for the Governor General’s Award four times, won a National Magazine Award (silver) in 1981, the R.P. Adams Memorial Prize for Short Fiction (USA), the b.p. nichol Poetry Chapbook Award (1991), and the People’s Choice Poetry Award in Prairie Schooner Magazine (1994). In 1996, she received the Tilden (CBC/Saturday Night) Canadian Literary Award for Poetry and the Vicky Metcalf Short Story Editor’s Award.

AbeBooks spoke to Musgrave in the lead up to her feature performance at the Vancouver International Poetry Festival on Tuesday April 19, 2011. Check out their interview with her here.

To purchase tickets for the Susan Musgrave & bill bissett reading at the Vancouver International Poetry Festival, visit the online Box Office.