Checking In: phafours poet: Claudia Coutu Radmore

Claudia Radmore appeared in a group chapbook co-published with Tree Press and phafours over a decade ago as well as with a single author collection of monostitches, Cough of a Sloth (phafours, 2017). She has also published poetry and non-fiction: Rabbit (Aeolus House, 2020), Park Ex Girl: Life with Gasometer (Shoreline Press, 2020), The Business of Isness (Éditions des petits nuages, 2017), fish spine picked clean (Éditions des petits nuages, 2018),  Blackbird’s Throat; and  Three Sets of Literary Haibun, (catkin press, 2015) Accidentals (Apt 9 press, 2011) Your Hands Discover Me / Tes mains me découvrent – poésie et prose poétique (Éditions du tanka francophone, Montréal, 2010), Arctic Twilight: Leornard Budgell and Canada’s Changing North (Blue Butterfly, 2009).

PP: What have you read lately that lit you up?

CCR: Don Domanski, All Our Wonder Unavenged; David Blaikie, A Season in Lowertown. I am fascinated by how I can sit with their poems for hours trying to figure out their magic. With Don Domanski, it only takes a line; with David Blaikie’s poems, each piece is so complete, yet not confining, and gutsy.

PP: What’s life’s focus these days, literary or otherwise?

CCR: Words and Art. I am going through Artwork I’ve done, lots of figure drawings, trying to figure out how to lengthen their lives, get them out in the world. I am working on a large painting incorporating some of these drawings. It is not going particularly well, but it’s great fun getting paint all over me again. I still look forward to The Ruby Tuesday Group each week for stimulation and revision of current work.

My small garden.

PP: What is underway or forthcoming?

CCR: I’m working on a book-length poem based on a house I once designed and built, from the wishful idea and childish drawings of it to its completion and what, and who, were necessary to consider it finished, and why I sold it. I’m near the end of writing its parts (fragments). Soon I’ll put them together and see whether a long poem is there. You’ll connect with this theme! 

I’ve just sent a draft of a novel to novelist Diane Schoemperlen in Kingston. We’ll see what comes of that. It’s based on the hunt for my Aunt Wavy, whom I knew as my aunt, but who was most likely my grandmother. She went back to England in 1925 leaving lots of questions but seemed intent on creating more secrets throughout her life. Fun ones! 

My poetry collection Pink Hibiscus: Poems of the South Pacific will be out in a month or so with Éditions des petits nuages.

I am part way into a memoir of my CUSO stint in Vanuatu from 1986 – 1989. I am hoping to convince the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum to put on a small exhibit of the weavings and artifacts I have from Vanuatu. 

PP: What work do you have out? 

CCR: Sweet Vinegars: The Secret Lives of Wildflowers, a collection of lyric poems. 

A query to The University of Manitoba re possible publishing The Fur Trader and The Artist, the sequel to Arctic Twilight: Leonard Budgell and the Changing North (ms ready to go)

PP: Any author site or social media urls you’d like to drop?

CCR: My blog