Skip to main content

Talking Shop with Whitney Moran!

Halifax resident Whitney Moran is quickly making a name for herself as one of the region’s finest poets. The twenty-something scribe has received a slew of critical acclaim from those-in-the-know over the last while for her stirring, lyrical style – what one of her peers called “a perfect mix of passion and precision.” Recently Stephen Patrick Clare spoke with Moran about her life and work.

AE: What do you like most about living and working in Halifax?
WM: It's a real community. Our streets are an organic art gallery. We have an
incredible amount of culture per capita, but because there also exists such a
strong sense of peer support in Halifax you can really make a name for yourself
here if you take advantage of that. There are simple reasons too--like knowing
that you'll run into friends anywhere you go, but also having the space to explore
the city on your own. Oh, and being this close to the ocean is necessary for

AE: When did you start writing poetry and why?
WM: Since I could write my thought process has been poetic in nature. By that I mean
I tend to observe and think in poetic fragments. I was always such a bookworm I
suppose it seemed natural to write those thoughts down. When I was really young
I used to write books of poems and 'publish' them myself with markers and
staples. It was the first real voice I can remember having.

AE: What makes a good poem?
WM: An initial inspiration that is crafted to be (ironically) it’s most visceral
through extensive editing. A good poem should maintain a sense of rawness. It
should not only convey emotion, it should inspire it. I also believe personally
that a good poem will teach you at least one new word.

AE: Who are some of your favourite poets?
WM: Confessional poets, namely Ann Sexton & Sylvia Plath; also T.S. Eliot, Margaret
Atwood, Charles Baudelaire.

AE: What are your thoughts on the state of poetry in Halifax?
WM: I think it's really growing right now, thanks to some initiatives--like Donal
Power's guerilla poetry journal 'Open Heart Forgery' which breaks down a lot of
the barriers poets traditionally face in getting published. I love the idea of
all these 'closet poets' finally unleashing their work on the city. I know
there are some spoken word groups and many acclaimed poets in the area as well
so it's definitely a city that has a solid foundation as well as plenty of
potential for future generations of poets.

AE: What are your thoughts on the state of poetry in Canada?
WM: There are a lot of great, young Canadian poets these days and I think Canada for
the most part has a vibrant poetic culture. But as a public art form it still
seems relegated mainly to small, mostly academic circles. I guess I've always
admired countries where poets are treated as royalty, or at least revered in a
way that is either almost holy or at least of great import to the
socio-political conversation of that country. I think Canada still sees poets
only as artists, poetry as an art form--and maybe still doesn't acknowledge its
real potential as a method of speech. But we're not exactly a loud country
anyway so I suppose that makes sense.

AE: Has the internet helped or hurt poetry?
WM: That's a tough one. I'm sort of a literary luddite. I've found myself reverting
to older technologies in order to try and make my own poetry better, for
instance I bought a typewriter so that I wouldn't have the distraction of a
computer. I think the internet has been a great tool for educating and
promoting the spread of poetry in terms of access and awareness, but I don't
see it contributing to the quality of poetry. But perhaps that's just a

AE: What are you currently working on?
WM: I am always writing new poems & entering contests--working toward hopefully
having a manuscript finished sometime within the next year.

Popular posts from this blog

Charles Hsuen

Even after almost 30 years as the voice of jazz in Halifax, Charles Hsuen shows no signs of slowing down. His passion to preserve and promote the genre to listeners of all ages cannot be overstated. Recently we spoke with Hsuen about his roots, and his life-long love of big band, bebop, swing, Sinatra and more.
What are your own roots? My roots derive from a rather mixed background. My father is of Vietnamese / Tibetan / Chinese heredity, but grew up in India, before immigrating to Canada in 1967. While my mother’s roots stem from Indo-China, she grew up in Brunei before immigrating to Canada in 1969. Both extended families ultimately settled in Toronto and my parents met and married in the early 1970's. The last name “Hsuen” (now XUAN), pronounced “Schwen,” comes from the Last Emperor of China Henry Pu Yi who ruled using the name Xuantong from 1909 until his forced abdication in 1912. The story was of a tumultuous reign, his forced resignation and eventual attempt to reclaim his ti…

Danny Bilsborough

Danny Bilsborough, NSCC alumna and owner of Danny B Studios, has spent most of her days consulting various clients on software options for their new business endeavours. 
Although she’s been involved with assessing some really exciting projects, nothing makes her happier than grabbing her brush and splashing colour on a canvas. That’s why she’s decided to take the plunge into becoming a full-time artist.
“I was always so scared to try using colour, but when my daughter was born and the opportunity came to incorporate these new palettes into her life, they quickly found their way into mine,” she says.
Colour brings light to many things and gives people a sense of enjoyment. Markus Maier explained in his academic journal titled Color Psychology that colour carries great meaning and can have an important impact on people's affect, cognition and behaviour.
Bilsborough’s favourite pieces to create are those of nature and animals – a quick look at her online Etsy page confirms this. She be…


Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the passing of Elvis Presley, International World-Champion Elvis tribute artist, Thane Dunn and his Cadillac Kings, will perform seven shows throughout the Maritimes over the coming months. Recently we spoke with the King of Kings about his passion and profession.
What are your roots? I was born in Moncton, New Brunswick. I've lived everywhere from California to Toronto but Moncton always has had a special place in my heart. My musical roots have always been early Rock and Roll and also old Country and Western like Buck Owens and Stonewall Jackson. I’ve always been a huge Jim Morrison fan. He had a lot of similar traits to Elvis.
What first inspired the Elvis tribute? I always loved the man and I’ve had people tell me I looked like him and in early bands I was in people would say I sounded like him. I had a few months leading up to the decision to do it where it seemed every time I turned on the TV there was Elvis, the radio would be playing Elvis…