I ran into Alex Morgan at the Vancouver Writer's Festival. He is well established on the literary scene with a number of books of poetry and fiction to his credit. I asked if I could quickly interview him and he said yes (well, after asking which publication it would be for. I said it was for the Internet. He said he had heard of the Internet and felt it was one of the most important publications around today.)
OI: Your new book of poetry, Songs of the Northern Sky, has just been published. I haven't read it yet but I understand it's getting great reviews.
AM: Yes, I am an important writer. My book of poetry has just been published by a prestigious publishing house. It has been reviewed in the Globe & Mail and the Quill & Quire. They called it an important work. My agent is a very well-connected person.
OI: What influences help to mold your writing?
AM: My writing is influenced by Modernism. I create work that is both highly artistic and pushes peoples conceptions of art. Critics recognize my work as an important contribution to Canadian letters. I sit on the boards of many literary councils where I'm well respected for my views on literature and art.
OI: And Modernism? Any comments?
AM: Modernism is a very important movement in letters. It has deeply influenced my writing.
OI: Who's your favorite Modernist writer?
AM: T.S. Eliot is my favorite poet. He is an important figure in English literature.
OI: Anyone else?
AM: I can't think of any others right now.
OI: You’ve said Henry Miller is a big influence on your work. How so?
AM: By opening up the boundaries of literature, so I can push those boundaries even further. I am very interested in contemporary writing.
OI: What is your favorite Henry Miller book?
AM: I've read Tropic of Cancer, or was it Tropic of Capricorn? I can't remember. I saw the movie Henry and June three times. Miller is a great influence for me. I always try to push the boundaries of art.
[At this point, a young man sat down at the table. We make introductions.]
AM: This is Tim Stanton, my protégé. Under my tutelage, he is going to be a very important writer. Tell him what you're working on now, Tim.
TS: I've just finished an epic poem. It is a homage to Basil Bunting. I am working on my Ph.D. at a prestigious university where I study under a number of well-known scholars. We have spent several years doing important work on the poet Basil Bunting.
AM: It's work like this that keeps Canadian writing vibrant. People look to important writers like us for direction.
OI: Any plans for the near future?
AM: I will be reading at the Metro Bank - Earle Birney Main Stage tomorrow. A lot of other important writers will be there. I know Joseph Boyden and Douglas Coupland. I know every important writer in this country. I create important works of literature.
OI: Do you like giving readings?
AM: Poetry readings are the high point of cultural expression. It serves an important function for the community and allows me to make public my works. I've read with many other important writers.
OI: Like who?
AM: I can't remember whom right now, but they were very important and have had quite an influence on me.
OI: Are you working on a new book?
AM: Yes, it's a novel set in Vancouver called On the Edge. It is a cross between Ulysses and the Jerry Cornelius saga. It will be very cutting edge. I always try to push the boundaries of art.
TS: This new work will definitely take Canadian letters to a new level. Alex, we have to be running. The reading at the Ford Main Stage will be starting in fifteen minutes.
OI: Who is reading there tonight?
AM: I'm not sure, but the tickets were nearly $100 each. We have front row seats. There will be several agents from the top publishers there.
OI: Thank you very much for taking time to talk to me.
AM: The pleasure was all yours.