Desire Path

The Public Library

There are so many reasons why writers love public libraries. For as long as I can remember, I’ve regularly visited a local library once or twice a week, and one of the reasons why is because I’ve always lived within close walking distance to one. That wasn’t intentional, but it’s the lucky way it turned out.

As a writer, I read a lot. I buy books to support writers, publishers, and booksellers, but I also borrow many titles across multiple genres and formats (hello audiobooks!) from the library. When I was starting down the path of writing my own book of poetry, one of the first things I did was borrow stacks and stacks of poetry books from the library to see how what those poets did. I studied many things when I read such as:

  • How is the writing flowing from beginning to end?
  • What keeps the momentum going?
  • How is the writer exploring place?

My first book, Desire Path, was a book that centred around my life through my experiences of suburban space. In a way, it was a bildungsroman because it started with a poem reflecting on where I was born and ended with a long poem about my first pregancy.

“Heirloom” in Desire Path (Talonbooks, 2020).

While I did not write a poem about libraries in this book, I very well could have and I like to think that my experiences as a regular library user are quietly working in the background of the poems. All the times I borrowed a book, learning from those poets, this is somehow reflected in my work.

When my book was published and I found my own slender title among the poetry stack in the library, well, it was good feeling and a special moment.