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Kerry Ryan
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Kerry Ryan is the author of three poetry collections: The Sleeping Life, Vs., and Diagnosing Minor Illness in Children. She lives and writes in Winnipeg.
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This is a gallery of work specially created for #ThinAir2023. Spend time with writers you love, and discover some new favourites! Ceci est une galerie de travaux spécialement créée pour #ThinAir2023. Passez du temps avec des écrivains que vous aimez et découvrez de nouveaux favoris!

Diagnosing Minor Illness in Children (Frontenac House, 2023), Kerry Ryan’s third poetry collection, is an unflinching exploration of motherhood and midlife. She has published two previous collections: The Sleeping Life (The Muses’ Company, 2008) and Vs. (Anvil, 2010), which was a finalist for the Acorn-Plantos Award for Peoples’ Poetry. Her poems and essays have appeared in journals and anthologies across Canada. In 2022, her poem “Grief White” was shortlisted for the CBC poetry prize. She lives and writes in Winnipeg.

Interview / Entrevue

I don’t recall there being any books I wasn’t allowed to read or felt like I had to hide, but I do remember having such intense and personal relationships with certain books that I couldn’t even talk about them with other people. The Bell Jar, Good Times/Bad Times, anything by JD Salinger. All written specifically for me. I coveted those books, held them close as secrets.

There’s a line in Guy Vanderhaeghe’s The Englishman’s Boy that I read years ago and still think about a lot. Only, looking it up now to make sure I had it just right, I’ve realized my memory is faulty. I thought the line was “There’s no point to the way I love her.” It turns out the line is “There’s no point to the way I miss her.” Either way, the sentiment holds: loving, missing, we’re compelled by feelings that don’t make sense on paper. What is the purpose in loving or missing someone? Is there any point in writing poems? Or reading them? Not really, but there’s a lot of beauty in things that happen with no point.

I don’t have a desk! I’m a bit of a writing nomad, moving my notebook or laptop room to room. When the weather’s good, my favourite place to write is on my porch. But if the other surfaces of my house are any indication, a desk would be lost under teetering piles of books.

I spend so much of my daytime worrying, there’s not a lot of content left by night fall. But, uggggh, climate. How are we ever going to sort all that out?

I’ve always wanted to be a mail carrier. I like walking and being outside, plus it seems like such a charming vocation. I used to think it was an obscure ambition, but every time I admit it to someone, they tell me they’ve always wanted to be a mail carrier too.

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