An Interview with Ren Pike

Ren Pike grew up in Newfoundland. Through sheer luck, she was born into a family who understood the exceptional value of a library card. Her work has appeared in Whale Road ReviewRiddle Fence and FEED. When she is not writing, she wrangles data in Calgary, Canada. 

You can read her poem, These coasts are ghosts, highways in between in the October 2022 issue of Pinhole Poetry.

Would you like to tell us a little bit more about your poem? For instance, how or why you wrote it, or perhaps provide some extra context? 

“These coasts are ghosts, highways in between” was written in October as I traveled back to Alberta from Newfoundland. I’ve made the trip so many times. By now it is a beautiful yet melancholy palimpsest. Every sound, a coastal echo. Every mile, a journey of acceptance. As the clock ticks down.

Do you have a collection of poetry or even a single poem that acts as a touchstone or a lodestar? 

My poetry collection is less lodestar, more glorious lint. Lovely odds and ends that have made it through my various moves. Surfacing at odd moments, often just when I need them. Recently these include: Darnell “Deesoul” Carson: I Dream of a Darker Planet, Anne Michaels: May Love Seize You.  

How do you revise your work? 

There’s something called ‘forking’ in technology. It means taking the source code of software and branching off to create something new. My poetry writing process involves abundant and prodigious forking. I keep each fork. Sometimes moving several forward in tandem.

How or where or with what does a poem begin? 

Poems begin with a rub. Something that niggles. That won’t be banished with a book or a walk. That which sticks, often gets written. 

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