There are two listed poetry clubs on SAMU’s club directory. What makes your club unique?
We basically, as two different clubs, decided that we were going after different goals, so the other poetry club, I believe, focuses more on community and spoken word, whereas we’re focused a little bit more on workshopping and having a safe and inclusive space for poets to listen, discuss, write, and workshop poetry.
What inspired you to start Poetics Club?
I suppose essentially it boils down to seeing a need and filling it, but I’m very passionate about poetry. It’s always been very personal to me. When I started coming to MacEwan, I was learning about writing and seeing how comfortable people are with terms like “writer” and “editor,” and I became encouraged by the term “poet.” I started questioning why I was so uncomfortable with it before, and it made me really want to open it up to people to understand that poetry isn’t pretentious, it’s open to everyone. It’s an art form that’s really valuable.
So how do people learn more about poetry in your club?
They learn about it however they would like to. If they’re interested in editing poetry, they definitely learn about that. We have a sister club, which is the Bolo Tie Collective, and they put out an anthology every year of short stories, and as of last year they included poetry and Poetics is in charge of that, so I’m the lead poetry editor of that anthology.
Do you have to have any kind of credentials to join Poetics Club?
Not at all. I think we even have some members that aren’t MacEwan students, because SAMU does allow that to a certain extent. If you’ve never read a poem in your life, you are still absolutely welcome and you have a place in the club.
Is it all writing, or do you ever focus on reading specific poets?
This year we’re looking into having a type of poetry book club, where we’re hopefully able to bring in more poetry books and start introducing people to more poets, and hopefully more current poets. I think that pretty much any modern poet is underrated, unfortunately.
Do you have a favourite poet?
I have two favourite poets, I think — Mark Anthony and Lauren Eden. Like I said, most poets are underrated, they’re kind of unknown, but those two are top of the top for me.
Edited for length and clarity. Photography by Lydia Fleming.