In Conversation With Patrick Woodcock, Part I

Wanda Waterman

The Voice Magazine, Volume 22 Issue 15 2014-04-11

Patrick Woodcock is a Canadian poet who employs poetry to document the suffering of humanity in war-torn countries— a kind of poetic nonfiction. (See The Voice Magazine’s review of Echo Gods and Silent Mountains: Poems, his book of poems based on his time in Iraqi Kurdistan.) Recently he took the time to answer Wanda Waterman’s questions about poetry schools, his childhood, and what pointed him towards poetry.

The Surrealist Influence
Patrick doesn’t place himself within any specific school of poetry, which is not to say that he feels all poetry schools are one or that he remains uninfluenced by the styles of other poets. In his early youth he developed an attachment to surrealist, romantic, and metaphysical poetry, which resonated so much with the weirdness of his personal life as to eventually throw him a little off-balance.

“When I was in high school I loved surrealism—from ‘Where’s the fish?’ to Philippe Soupault. But as I began to travel and explore–truly explore—my daily life became far more odd and surreal than my dreams. I was living within a fog of surrealism during the day and then dreaming of nothing more than sitting in a chair beneath a tree at night (I still have this one a lot), so I had to abandon my initial fascination with surrealism and look elsewhere.”  (Read the rest here.)

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