Interview with rob mclennan for Open Book Ontario
How did you come to poetry first, as opposed to, say, fiction or non-fiction?
I took a creative writing class in Grade 11 with Terence Young, a GG-nominated poet, in Victoria. He is my single greatest inspiration and wholly responsible for my realizing I had talent and that I should pursue creative writing. The way he structured the course involved a unit on poetry first, then a unit on short fiction. Previous to that point I’d been fairly uninterested in poetry, because all I’d read was the stuff you read in elementary and early high school, like Robert Frost, whose work I was not at all enthused about. But then Terence introduced me to poets like David McFadden and Sheri D Wilson, and around the same time, my dad introduced me to Richard Brautigan, and I realized that contemporary poetry was a hell of a lot more exciting. I considered myself solely a poet until a few years ago, when I really got into writing fiction that treaded the line between poetry and prose.