The Hermit Poet

November 29, 2005

Me and Wally

Filed under: General — Neil Aitken @ 1:22 pm

I’ve been spending the last few days working on my Stegner Fellowship application and it occurred to me that good ol’ Wally Stegner and I have quite a bit in common.

Like Wally, I spent a good portion of my childhood in Saskatchewan. Also like him, I have lived in Utah and traveled through Montana and other parts of the West. I’ve ended up in California, but wherever I go I still find myself reflecting on the land and people of Saskatchewan. Of course, Wally probably wouldn’t know what to make of a Chinese-Scottish-Canadian poet who is proposing to write a manuscript about the strange beauty of the cubicle city after dark — but I think he might like my poems about missing the big sky, the land that stretches out in an unbroken weft of yearning, and the cold. I think he might find in the new manuscript a different sort of community but familiar all the same. Here within these unwritten pages will appear the workers and artists, the tired and weary populace of the all-but abandoned floor, lit only by the ghost flicker of monitors in the dark. Beneath the skin of technology, the same stories and sorrows arise. I’m looking forward to writing this world. I hope to do so from Stanford.

3 Responses to “Me and Wally”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Good luck, best wishes and congrats on the semi-finalist post below as well. Movement is great.

  2. aimee Says:

    are you also applying for wisconsin’s fellowship–do, do, do!

  3. site admin Says:

    I’m definitely applying to the Wisconsin fellowship as well. And a few others elsewhere. Trying to cast my net as wide as I can. Besides, it seems like it might be fun to spend some time in Wisconsin — it’s almost like being in Canada!

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