Apr 2, 2012
Tim Bowling's collections of poetry include Fathom, The Book Collector, and The Memory Orchard. He has written three novels, including The Bone Sharps and The Paperboy’s Winter. Twice shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry, Tim has won the Canadian Authors’ Association Award for Poetry and two Alberta Book Awards. In 2008, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta.
Tim was in Ottawa for Versefest. We met to talk about his book In the Suicide's Library, an entertaining, fast-paced meditation (yes, unusual) on modern life, the responsibilities of marriage and parenting, middle-age and books and book collecting. Topics covered include yes, book collecting, coincidence, suicide, the spirit, passion and harmony of books, the use of hands, the line between bibliophiles and maniacs, and the importance of physical books to the culture; we also cover writing about one’s book collections; the sense of community among book collectors, the temptation of the material, possession, The Great Gatsby and green light, Las Vegas, the power of knowledge, the pros and cons of the Internet, Serendipity Books, ‘shattering the groove,’ mid-life, change, parenthood, and investing life with meaning.