Interview with Poet Janine Parkinson (A RIDDLE OF BREAKABLE THINGS)

WATCH Poetry Reading

1) What is the theme of your poem?


2) What motivated you to write this poem?

My partner taught me how to make poached eggs, the most difficult egg, and much like the egg our relationship was difficult. In the end, I realized his drama would always come before my needs.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

The first time I wrote poetry was on a movie set in my trailer. I have an INFP personality type, so working as a stunt performer or actor in an extraverted environment was very difficult for me. As an escape, I hid in my trailer and wrote poetry. Now, as a full-time writer, I write screenplays, radio scripts, articles, poetry, and have a children’s book called Lenny Peed on That! coming out September 2022.

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

I have been blessed to have had dinner with many of my mentors, however, I would love to have dinner with Matt Damon, we never finished our conversation about stickfighting and screenwriting.

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

I hear my words read by narrators on the radio all the time, it’s nice to hear them come alive. As a poet, I have a unique pacing when reading my poetry (and a lisp that makes me self-conscious); I was curious how a professional WILDsound actor would read it.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Yes, you can even hear my work on the radio now! Anything from science and health news releases to barbecues. Currently, I am working with Alibi Entertainment in Toronto on my kids show Small Science and my kid’s book Lenny Peed on That! will be out in the fall. Also, I have a book of Canadian humourous short stories, Squeeky Cheese in its final draft stage.

7) What is your passion in life?

I hope my work will inspire imagination, kindness, compassion and curiosity. I ran away from home and never could pull enough money together to take time off work and finish school. I have over 20 certificates but school is inaccessabile for people like me who have always had to hustle and although my mom is super supportive, I’m not going to ask her for any handouts as she’s already sacrified so much for me to achieve my dreams. I’ll admit, I tried going back during covid but had to stop again as UofT is demanding people in person, which with travel time and courses in the middle of the day it’s near impossible without quitting my job.

Needless to say, this fuels my passion, which is to make higher-education more accessible and inclusive so no one gets left behind. I am an advocate for open learning and open education resources. The purpose of these institutions is to challenge ideas, and if we don’t challenge the way education is delivered we will never progress. So for now, I use my voice through poetry and writing, and I hope one day, it will inspire change.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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