Dani Couture Interview @ The Torontoist
My interview with Dani Couture, author of the new collection Sweet, and the less-new collection Good Meat, is now up on the Books @ Torontoist website. Sweet is an accomplished and often challenging little book, and worth whatever you’re going to pay for it. Here’s an excerpt from the interview, but if you’ prefer to read the whole thing (you should) it’s right here.
JMM: Another tension I wanted to discuss is more directly about place, about belonging and not belonging. The book has city poems and country poems, and a speaker willing to express unease in both environments. The poem “Birthright” really brings it all together with the idea of regional customs limited to a single family property. I wonder what you consider to be your home, and how poems that approach that centre differ from ones where the speaker is a visitor or outsider?
DC: I’m consumed with the idea of “place.” Where does one belong and why? Who else belongs there? What overlaps? My sense of place is always in flux, and this is something I tried to address throughout Sweet. Home for me is a slice of several dozen places and people. While I never feel entirely at home anywhere, I feel somewhat at home everywhere. Poems like “Birthright” that reach toward the idea of “home” are written from the middle out. The rest are written from the outside in, as if walking the perimeter of a house and looking through the windows to see if anyone’s already claimed it as theirs. It’s all fair game.