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Stan Rogal, author of After Words, speaks with The Toronto Quarterly about poetry, inspiration and getting published

after wordsAfter Words is receiving more attention— this time from The Toronto Quarterly, who published an interview in late October with the poet behind the work, Stan Rogal.

In the interview, Rogal talks about his poetry and about getting published with Guernica Editions. He explains how the dedicatory style of his work gave him the idea to speak to Guernica’s Editor-in-Chief, Michael Mirolla, about the possibility of publishing a manuscript, and shares his reason behind dedicating the poems within the collection to various people:

“I have a history of dedicating poems to these types of people – folks whose works and/or lives have influenced my own work and/or life – in my books from the beginning, so it’s not new for me. It so happened  I was compiling a fair number of these poems when Guernica announced it was going to print an anthology called Poets On Poets and was seeking submissions, to include an under 200 word description on why the particular poet was chosen. I sent in three poems and two were accepted. I wrote to the publisher, Michael Mirolla, and told him I had an entire manuscript of such poems (not simply about poets) and if I were to write blurbs for the individuals involved, might Guernica be interested in publishing such a collection?

“As to why I continue to dedicate poems to various people, I think of it as a small form of re-payment for services rendered, especially as the service rendered is, more often than not, unknown to that person.”

Throughout the interview, Rogal shows his good-natured sense of humour. His perfect day in terms of writing would include “complet[ing] a manuscript just as the post arrives with an acceptance letter for a previous manuscript and a letter informing [him] of a grant acceptance. If there was also a letter from a movie producer offering [him] a ton of cash to option [his] novel, so much the better.”

Rogal is refreshing and grounded. And his own thoughts on his collection? “I do feel it’s a strong book and a veritable language feast. It’s also a loud and raucous kick-ass book overall and many of the poems are fun to read aloud.” And he’s right.

Rogal also offers his words of wisdom to other poets: “Read other poets, go out and listen to other poets read, buy poetry books, study poetry, don’t be afraid to copy other poets. You can’t know what your voice (or poetry) is until you compare it with others. Did I say buy poetry books? Do that.”

Currently, Stan Rogal is writing a novel and looking to publish two other manuscripts. Keep a lookout for his future projects.

To read the full interview, visit The Toronto Quarterly website at:

After Words is available for purchase online at:

Posted in Interviews, Poetry, Reviews.