The following interview is part six of a seven-part series of conversations with BC poets which I released between January and April 2022. All eight interviews were originally posted at ReadLocalBC.ca. This was the third year of my collaboration with Read Local BC (you can read the 2019 interviews here, the 2020 interviews here, and the 2021 interviews here).
Rooted – Jónína Kirton
for my niece Gabby
I am rooted, but I flow.—Virginia WoolfThe Waves (1931)
I am a story within the stories of manyI am a paradoxone thing and then anotherparts of a wholethat does not know itselfturning towards the invisibleI can see the limits of knowledgethe places where formulas dissolveinto knowing that can only comewhen quiet and walking in a forestwhere the standing ones watch and waitfor us to return to ourselvesto the new stories that are waiting to unfold
“The poet in the Acholi tradition, is not just someone who says the flower is beautiful because it’s beautiful but gathers people to think and talk about whatever it is they’re doing and what’s happening around them… For me, as an Acholi poet, the poem is the container, the space and opportunity for people to gather in community.”