Thursday, May 28, 2009


Rob Taylor for DESK SPACE

DESK SPACE Who (a one-liner or a bio)?

ROB TAYLOR Hey, I’m Rob Taylor! I write poetry in my very yellow basement suite in Vancouver, and dream of one day being a backup power forward on the Chinese National Basketball Team. Don’t worry, I’m not planning on starting ahead of Yi Jianlin. I’m not crazy!

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

RT I started writing in 2003. A couple chapbooks since then, most recently Child of Saturday, but no books. I am working on a manuscript, though. I’ve been doing that for far too long.

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

RT Yes. All of the above. These days, mostly in a small notebook while riding the bus, back left or right corner, whichever is available.

DS Why do you work where you do (at your desk because it is a quiet space/outside b/c it helps you think/in the park b/c you can smoke, etc)?

RT I write wherever I find myself, and I happen to be spending a disproportionate amount of my time on the bus these days. I’m on the Skytrain quite a bit, too. That’s quieter (runs on magnets!), and therefore better for poetic contemplation, but the rides are shorter. Because of this most train rides end in haiku, and occasionally a limerick (saucy days).

DS What are you working on now?

RT Well, there’s that whole manuscript thing.

And I’m pretty determined to get Heritage Minister James Moore to run one of my poems in his constituency newsletter. My new limerick (Thank you, Skytrain!) opens: “There was a young man from Port Moody / Whose waistline declared him a foody.” Fingers crossed!

I also run One Ghana, One Voice, Ghana’s first online poetry mag, which keeps me pretty busy.

Most importantly, I’m working on a new project: Literary Laundry… Literaundrature! With at least three sites out there exploring writers’ desks, I figured spin-offs would be inevitable. So I’m getting in there first!

Sure, you’ve seen your favourite author’s desk. You’ve studied the drawer where he stores his pencil, the wastebasket where she tosses her hopeless first drafts. But where does he store his pencil, if you know what I mean? What does she unbutton before she drops her real stinkers?

“I’ve read Penny Dreadful three times, I know all about Shannon Stewart’s computer monitor, but I’ve never seen an assortment of her rumpled blouses piled in a hamper. Can I really call myself a fan?” To me, these are the kinds of questions any real lit nerd must ask in this day and age.

I’ve been a fan of Desk Space for quite a while. Yours is by far the finest of all desk photo sites (suck on that, Writers’ Rooms!), so I am very honoured to have this opportunity to launch Literaundrature here. I hope that you will come to see it as the Mork and Mindy to your Happy Days (or, for the kids out there, the Private Practice to your Grey’s Anatomy).

This first edition of Literaundrature is a bit of a cross-over (like when McDreamy operated on Addison’s brother’s brain tumour) – a couple standard laundry shots, and then my desk space from my laundry’s perspective. Left sock first, then right. As a special bonus, my desk from the perspective of my left big toe.

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