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Elana Wolff Interviews Keith Garebian for Open Book Ontario

Keith Garebian is an award-winning poet and author. His most recent book, Moon on Wild Grasses (Guernica Editions 2013), has been nominated for the 2013 Mississauga Arts Award. With illustrations by the author himself, this collection comprises haiku on a wide range of themes. Keith has published over 1200 reviews, interviews and features in over 80 newspapers, journals and magazines. He has also published 19 books and a chapbook to date, including five of poetry.

Editor Elana Wolff has interviewed Keith for Open Book Ontario. In the interview, he reveals how he didn’t always consider himself a poet, despite having a “poetic sensibility”, and discusses his literary unfolding, including the crucial Children of Ararat, dedicated to his father who was orphaned at a young age by the Armenian genocide. Keith also explains why he chose the tersest of forms for his new book.

Keith tells Elana: “Where does my inspiration come from? Both life and literature, of course. And I’ll add painting, film, dance and theatre.Frida is very painterly; Blue is painterly and filmic; Children of Ararat has an entire section devoted to artistic creators of literature, film and painting. But the books are all provoked by my responses to life. I’m very empathetic to the marginalized, the oppressed, the exploited and the outcast. I’m affected by the horrible injustices of the present world, by the arrogance of superpowers and their satellites, and by the deniers of historical atrocity. I write to commemorate and interrogate literature and life, though I don’t think of a poet — to paraphrase Shelley’s famous claim — as necessarily being an unacknowledged legislator of the world.”

To read the full interview, click here.

Posted in Interviews.

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