In Conversation with Patrick Woodcock, Part II

Wanda Waterman

The Voice Magazine, Volume 22 Issue 16 2014-04-18

Patrick Woodcock uses poetry to document the suffering of humanity in war-torn countries— a kind of poetic nonfiction. (See Voice 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 literary forms, his childhood, and the conditions that enabled him to embark on so many remarkable adventures. (You can read the first part of this article here.)

A Blessed Childhood
Patrick credits his parents for preparing him for the unusual life he’s lived so far—his mother for creating a nurturing environment for artistic development and teaching him patience and tolerance, and his father for setting a creative example and teaching how to treat law enforcers.

“I was incredibly lucky to have the childhood I did. We moved to Oakville when I was three, into a lovely townhouse that backed onto Lake Ontario. I was exposed to a lot of art–my mother was a ballet teacher, and our house was constantly full of music. My brother was a professional violinist and I sang in a choir and musicals. My father would leave silly or sick little poems and limericks for us almost every day before he left for work.

“But there were also a lot of little things they did whose affect on me I am only beginning to understand now. For example, there was a French-Canadian pianist called Andre Gagnon. When I was six or seven I would put on his albums and just rock on the couch and stare at the lake for hours. My parents never said a word to me about going outside or playing with other children–they saw that I was happy and left me to daydream for hours.(Read the rest here.)

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