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Newfoundland Poet Mark Callanan in Atlantic Books Today

The following is an excerpt from a column about  young writers in Atlantic Canada, written by Chris Benjamin and published in Atlantic Books Today in June 2015. This column focused on Newfoundland poet Mark Callanan:

In the mid nineties Mark Callanan could have been a portrait of proto-teen, banging awkwardly at a guitar trying to make up songs. You know, working on his music. It didn’t take him long to realize it was the words he cared most about.

“I had this Robert Service book that was my dad’s and had been his dad’s. From there I got into Dylan Thomas and this romantic imagery associated with his short career, drinking himself to death.” Self destruction held a dark appeal for teenaged Callanan.

At Memorial University he joined the Society for Creative Urges, or SCUM as it was acronymed, a group of creative writers that flagellated themselves on the alter of public feedback – that is, they read before an audience and actually let people publicly comment on the work. “It was the first time I was forced to reckon with an audience,” Callanan recalls. “It was a formative experience.”

Read the full article here.

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