In this episode, SpokenWeb contributor Julia Polyck-O’Neill shares an archived recording of Canadian poet Lisa Robertson with us and talks us through two interviews she recorded with Robertson. Polyck-O’Neill invites us to consider the significance of Robertson’s intimate archival collections in light of the relationships between archives, memory, affect, and mortality. In examining these conceptual, material and immaterial dimensions of the archive within Robertson’s personal narrative history of the Kootenay School of Writing, Polyck-O’Neill points to how creative and feminist approaches to the archive and to archival practice are exist within Robertson’s practice. Polyck-O’Neill shares with us how Robertson’s archives are influencing her research and the ways she approaches the topic of archives and intimacy in her work and her life more broadly.
Addendum: Listening Notes
Nancy Shaw (1962-2007), a celebrated curator, poet, writer, and organizer, at times collaborated with Lisa Robertson and also wrote work in dialogue with Robertson’s poetry. Robertson wishes to mention how greatly the absence of her good friends Shaw, Stacy Doris (d. 2012), and Peter Culley (d. 2015) has affected her. Additionally, XEclogue was, in fact, Robertson’s first book, although she published chapbooks prior; additionally, she does not think of her books as collections, as they are written as single, cohesive works. The new edition of R’s Boat is titled Boat and is being published by Coach House in Spring 2022.