Apr 2, 2018
Jason Guriel is a poet and critic whose work has appeared in
such publications as Poetry, Slate, Reader's Digest, The Walrus,
Parnassus, Canadian Notes & Queries, The New Criterion, and PN
Review. His poetry has been anthologized in The Best Canadian
Poetry in English, and in 2007, he was the first Canadian to
receive the Frederick Bock Prize from Poetry magazine. He won
Poetry's Editors Prize for Book Reviewing in 2009. His essays and
reviews are collected in The Pigheaded Soul (The Porcupine's Quill,
2013). Guriel lives in Toronto, Ontario.
We met at the Toronto Public Library on College in rooms where
the Osborne Collection is kept. The collection was donated in 1949
by the English librarian Edgar Osborne in recognition of the
Library's outstanding service to children.
We talk among other things about The Pig Headed Soul, the key
to being a good critic, poems not poetry, obsessing, ''The Case
Against Reading Everything', Carmine Starnino, 'culture' writing,
confessional criticism, pop culture essays, the adoration of poet
Peter Van Toorn, 'world class' poet Robyn Sarah, the importance of
pleasure, thoughts the culture wont allow itself to have, "I don't
care about your Life', literary community, honesty in criticism,
response to reviews, Chris Wiman, Clive James, Michael Hoffmann's
Behind the Lines, William Logan, Jill Bialoski and plagiarism, the
Griffin Prize, dirty money, and diapers.