Cobourg Poetry Workshop
feature poet

Wayne Schlepp


From the days and shattered hours
there remains yet
the world of earth and sky
and it beckons as never before.

And like the wholeness brought to memory
by hearing unexpected a long forgotten song,
it lovingly mends
the fragments of the distracted soul
with the beauty of natural form.

Wayne Schlepp is a founder-member of the Cobourg Poetry Workshop. His most recent chapbook is Tomorrow Is Not Coming.

A Brief Biography:
I was born 78 years ago. After my initial appearance on earth, I grew up in the prairies which was, and is now even more for me a separate and distant world. I did an undergraduate degree in Math and English, upon completion of which in 1953 was inducted into the army and immediately died, leaving behind an exciting life of painting, writing, dramatic arts and the wonders of thought, liberated by a haphazard but devoted reading of Alfred Korzybski. In that state of (non-)being I was put through the Chinese course in the Army Language School, got married, lived in Japan for three years, had a son, spent seven years in the University of London doing two more degrees in Chinese and, for about 30 years, taught Chinese and Mongolian at the Universities of Wisconsin and Toronto.

On-Line with Wayne Schlepp

What brought you to Cobourg?
Mad flight from 20 years' life in the city.

When and Why did you start writing poetry?
I began in my undergraduate years and wrote because it was there to be done - everything was an open and inviting avenue at that wonderful time.

How would you describe your poetry?
There is first a large body of experimental stuff; this gives way to much grousing and some satire, a bit of humour; later on, poetic statement that uses nature as a vehicle and, overall, a great body of stuff that should never have been preserved, but which now force-feeds nostalgia, the support and prop of advancing age.

What kind of process do you go through from idea to completed poem?
I have quite a bit that stands as the initial inspiration dictated, but most of what I write has been subject to revision, sometimes quite extensive, depending on the uses I intend to make of it.

Any particular inspirations?
Now, nature most of all; second to this I would say that social idiocy is an exceptionally compelling inspiration, and of course, there is that shady element called "personal".

Your thoughts on the Cobourg Poetry Workshop...

Anything you'd like to add?
Yes: 2+2 = 4, but only in the mind of man.

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