“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.
How does a poem begin for you?
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.
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”?
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.
When did you know you were a “poet”?
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.