Jenny Haysom was born in England and raised in Nova Scotia. She has a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Ottawa, and has served as Prose Editor for Arc Poetry Magazine. Her writing has been published widely, in places like CV2, Dusie, The Fiddlehead, The New Quarterly, and The Walrus, as well as in chapbook form (Blinding Afternoons, Anstruther Press). Dividing the Wayside, her first full-length collection of poems, was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and won the Archibald Lampman Award. Jenny's debut novel, Keep, is forthcoming with House of Anansi Press.
I read a lot of poetry as a child, and took a break from it in highschool, though I do remember liking Emily Dickinson at that age, especially “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain” (340).
I first started writing poetry as an undergraduate student, many years ago.
I don't think of poetry as a job; it's more of a vocation, a calling. If we do have a job, it takes place in the margins, offers a point of view that is peripheral to mainstream thinking. For me, a good poet somehow expresses the unspeakable using the tools of poetic craft — like image and metaphor, rhyme and meter — in unique combination.
I would memorize Whitman’s “A Noiseless Patient Spider.” It is a beautiful, breathless lyric about the poetic act, about casting one's lines — in a strange act of faith — into the universe with its “measureless oceans of space.”