Poet Dianne Korchynski is one of the original CommuterLit contributors and a member of the High Park Library Writers Group in Toronto.
CL: Though you have composed the occasional prose piece, you seem to naturally gravitate toward poetry. Why do you think that is? What attracts you to poetry?
DK: In terms of reading, I’m a slow reader and poetry is mostly short. In terms of writing, I’m lazy – so again, poetry is short. Both those things are true, but another, equally valid answer might be that poetry is a condensed distillation of thought and emotion. In its compactness, it surprises you; it raises questions, rather than makes statements. And I am often attracted to things and people I don’t totally understand.
CL: You do a lot of travelling, how does your travelling inform or inspire your poetry?
DK: Travel awakens, or often jars, the senses. It challenges our perception and this to me often provokes a response. And that response, like a good photograph (to think in travel terms), does or suggests more than what is apparent.
CL: If you could only do one, which would you give up — poetry or travelling?
DK: Poetry, for sure! Travel, I can buy a ticket, pick a destination, use my credit card and be pretty sure I’ll arrive SOMEWHERE. With poetry, you never know. It might not show up at all. Or it might appear at your door after midnight, demanding entrance. I find it highly unreliable.
CL: Which poets are you currently reading and why?
DK: Jan Zwicky, Glen Downie, and Jane Hirshfield. The first was recommended by the great poet, friend and fellow CommuterLit contributor EB (Elizabeth Barnes), the second I love for his novel, sometimes funny, original, unpretentious voice, and the third, in both her poems and her essays in Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, for her layered imagery, her breadth of knowledge, and her deep insights into language and the mind.