Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Zach Wells for DESK SPACE

1. The first picture is my "book table", with discrete piles: to be sold (mostly books dumped at our doorstep my mother-in-law while she was moving); received for review; translation; to be read/being read/borderline abandoned. Note also the baby stuff on the floor. We don't have a nursery per se, so a lot of Kaleb's stuff is in my office.

2. My messy desk. This is its usual state. Every now and then, I file the pile of papers to the right of the computer. The random things tacked to the board become wallpaper eventually. One of them's a ms. of Malcolm Lowry poems the editor wants me to respond to; keep meaning to do that...

3. The big picture. Hard to tell, but my window has a beautiful view of the next door neighbour's chimney. Note all the baby gear. A very candid shot.

DESK SPACE Who (bio, witty one liners)?

ZACH WELLS Writer (of poems and critical prose, mainly); blogger; editor; anthologist; translator; train service attendant; trans-Canadian, bilingual and tri-coastal; son, brother, husband and recently father.

DS When did you start writing, publish your first book (or when are you publishing your next)?

ZW My first book, Unsettled, was published in 2004, after seriously applying myself to writing for about six years. No doubt too soon. I've since published an anthology, featuring sonnets by 100 Canadian poets, including a certain Evie Christie. A children's book, co-written with my wife Rachel Lebowitz, is due out in September. Next year, I'll be publishing a second collection of poems, Track & Trace, and a collection of critical prose, Career Limiting Moves. I've also published three chapbooks and two ltd. ed. broadsides.

DS Where do you write (at your desk/outside/in bed)?

ZW I've been working in the transportation industry since I was 19, which means I'm often away from home, so my writing space tends to be similarly mobile, particularly since I got a laptop a few years ago. I write everywhere: on planes, on trains, in warehouses and hotel rooms. I have a desk at home. Sometimes I write there.

DS What are you working on now?

ZW According to my Canada Council grant application, I'm working on a collection of poems. Every now and then I manage to write one, so they're getting their money's worth. I'm also editing a first trade collection by a very good poet, Shane Neilson, and editing an "essential" selection of poems by the nearly forgotten Nova Scotia poet Kenneth Leslie. Besides that, writing book reviews and commissioning/editing same for Canadian Notes & Queries magazine, the finest literary journal in the land.

No comments: