“Deep-sea Radio” by Ned Baeck is forthcoming in the “Liminal” issue of PRISM, out this fall. Read our sneak-peak preview of this poem here, and get to know him in a mini interview with our poetry editor, Shazia Hafiz Ramji, below.
Shazia Hafiz Ramji: How does a poem begin for you?
Ned Baeck: I don’t really know. Deep-sea Radio was inspired by a woman who worked at a coffee shop I went to everyday. I guess I loved her, or what I knew of her. And I wanted to give tribute to what she meant to me.
SHR: Your collection of poems is forthcoming with Guernica editions. Can you tell us more about your forthcoming book? Are the poems similar in any way to “Deep-sea Radio”?
NB: The book is called Wait. I wrote the material in the space of two to three years. I’d stabilized after a period of drinking to perdition and being homeless etc. I’d fallen heavily from a lot of things, and in the time of writing I was at least partially restored to some of them. Actually, the first poem in the book was the first poem I’d written in ten years. Anyway, I guess the book is about what I’d lived through, and what I wished for… what was real to me. I hadn’t written much while sober before and during those ten years I didn’t think about writing at all. I didn’t anticipate returning to it.
SHR: When did you know you were a “poet”?
NB: I started reading and writing poems when I was 17, and it was a main focus for six or seven years. I stopped using substances and tried to be clean after that, and the poems stopped. Sorting my life out became the focus. Now, I don’t always write, or write everyday, but the spirit of poetry is good.
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Ned Baeck lives in Vancouver. His poems have recently appeared in untethered, The Continuist and Sewer Lid. His first full-length collection of poems is forthcoming from Guernica.