Today on our special weekend edition of The Optimisms Project, poet and Bookninja editor George Murray ponders the project’s defining question: What makes you feel optimistic about the future of poetry in Canada? His answer evokes a veritable alternative universe of poetic optimism.
For project curator Jacob McArthur Mooney’s introduction to The Optimisms Project please go here.
What makes you feel optimistic about the future of poetry in Canada?
I am optimistic about the future of poetry in the same way I am optimistic about the future of everything: futures exist, even if they’re right on top of our nows. If poetry exists in space and time, it is effectively immortal and will continue to thrive in at least one of our branching, bubbling, bouncing universes. If apathy, hatred, laziness, and infighting dull it in this one, a moment from now, or just a second ago, another will spring up in which it elects governments of kindly peers and turns nuclear weapons into small rabbits that smell like berry-scented shampoo.
In a more concrete sense, I have my own inner universe for poetry in which it’s totally safe, and is populated with my own constellations of thought, admiration, accomplishment, and desire. And that, in some sense, is more than enough for me. Applications to live here will not be read or vetted, but you’re still welcome.
George Murray’s five books of poetry include The Rush to Here (Nightwood), The Hunter (McClelland & Stewart), and the forthcoming Glimpse: Selected Aphorisms (ECW, Fall 2010). He has been widely anthologized and has published poems and fiction in journals and magazines in Canada, the United States, UK, Australia, and Europe; most recently at Granta, New Welsh Review, Riddle Fence, London Magazine, and New American Writing. He has won or been shortlisted for several awards, and reviews for newspapers such as The Globe and Mail. He lives in St. John’s and is the editor of the literary website Bookninja.com.