ISSUE 1 VOL 1 PROFILE: Christopher Doda

poetry //
By Rope, By Gun, By Knife, By Fire; A Casual Undertaking

HLR: Where do you write? 

At home mostly, with music blaring.

HLR: Were do you publish? 

My first two poetry books are with Toronto’s Mansfield Press, and the annual essay collection that I co-edit, Best Canadian Essays, is with Tightrope Books.

HLR: What are you reading these days? 

I am in the midst of reading for the next volume of Best Canadian Essays, so a great deal of magazines and journals. I’m also reading the poetry Tadeusz Rozewicz and Walpurgisnacht by Gustav Meyrinck. Recently I read the early works of Aleksandor Hemon, The Door by Magda Szabo, and finally got around to Heller’s Catch-22. I will be the first to admit that my literary reading is fairly Euro-Centric, with a healthy dose of Latin America and Japan thrown in.

HLR: How does the Internet and your presence on the Internet affect your thinking and writing? 

Not much at all. I still write my first few drafts of any poem by hand and then type it onto my computer. All subsequent drafts are printed and worked on by hand. I am very tactile that way. Because I am old enough to have grown up without computers or the Internet, the last generation to do so, I regard it as a tool, not a necessity.

HLR: Do you think there is a kind of writing that is popular with your peers? 

Among my peers, almost all of us read and write about music as much as anything, whether online or in print. I write about music on the video-curation site Ryeberg ( now and then. I have a certain weakness for rock star memoirs/biographies, as well as the 33 1/3 Series. They make for good beach reading during my annual sojourn to Barbados.

HLR: Would you characterize yourself as a writer? 

I try not to.

Christopher Doda is a poet, editor, and critic living in Toronto. He has two collections of poetry, Among Ruins and Aesthetics Lesson. He is currently working on a collection of glosas, based on hard rock and heavy metal lyrics, to be titled Glutton for Punishment. He is also the Series Editor for the annual Best Canadian Essays.