Friday, April 10, 2009


Matthew Tierney for DESK SPACE


MATTHEW TIERNEY Poet. Leafs fan. Guinness lover. Poker player.

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

MT My second book, The Hayflick Limit, just came out this spring with Coach House Books.

DS Where do you write?

MT At my desk. I look out on the heart of the heart of Toronto, specifically the fire escape of the office building next door. Behind it and above is the slimmest skyscraper in North America…I think. I must’ve read that somewhere.

Sometimes I lug my laptop three feet away so I can work in my reading chair. But mostly I stick to my perch while the world gets busy below.

We’re on the 12th floor and get a sliver of the Yonge and King intersection, where the red neon “Sleep Country” sign mocks me during my occasional insomniac wanderings.

DS Why do you work where you do?

MT I like to feel plugged in. There’s plenty of ambient noise during the day. The sirens flare up frequently, and the King streetcar’s rumble is periodic. Subliminal? Maybe it’s become so. Once I’m in the zone, I’m in the zone.

In short, I’ve always been a sucker for cities. The crush of humanity and all that. Individual stories playing themselves out in the background while I clatter away on the keyboard.

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