poetry becomes a negative force in people's lives

A liberating thing happened to me a few years ago: I stopped giving a shit about the production of writing. I no longer see poetry as a commodity, whereas in those first years of writing I was so excited by poetry I bought into many of the lofty dreams that poets are expected to dream. I found that this type of strategic and ambitious thinking made me unhappy and for many years I hadn’t realized it.

I began to see how poetry becomes a negative force in people’s lives. The business of poetry can easily ruin a poet. I think now that if a poet gets publicly upset about a literary prize shortlist or the contributor list of a “best of” poetry anthology then the Canada Council should mandate that they spend at least 25% of any grants they receive on Jungian therapy.

- Brad Cran, in interview with The Toronto Quarterly. You can read the whole interview, and a few poems from Cran's new book Ink on Paper, here.

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