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About

Tricia McCallum, a Glasgow-born Canadian, is an award-winning writer and poet and Huffington Post Blogger.

Tricia is the author of two books of poetry: The Music of Leaving (Demeter Press, 2014) and Nothing Gold Can Stay: A Mother and Father Remembered in 2011. Her third poetry collection is entitled Icarus Also Flew.

Tricia’s work, both prose and poetry, has been published widely both online and offline. She has been nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize that awards the best work of small presses worldwide and is particularly proud to have been the winner a total of three times in the member-voted poetry competition at goodreads.com. An Honorable Mention from goodreads followed in 2015.

In her longstanding career as a Toronto freelance writer she has written for newsstand magazines and been featured as a guest columnist in all of Canada’s major newspapers. Cosmopolitan magazine under the editor Helen Gurley Brown published a total of 20 of McCallum’s poems throughout the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, more than that of any other poet.

Tricia also publishes fiction. Her short story “Clutter” won a national newspaper award for fiction writing. But her first passion remains poetry, and she says that even though her poems are about commonplace things, they are not necessarily simple.

“The abstract never drew me,” she explains. “I don’t think in those terms. The day-to-day world and all its supposedly mundane detail provides me more than I need.

“To me it’s not mundane,” says Tricia. “To me, it’s magic.”

 

I know it’s poetry if it knocks the top of my head off. -Emily Dickinson

Thank you for visiting.

Maybe you intended on coming here, a poetry lover hoping for poems that ring true for you, or you may have just wandered in “off the street.” Either way, welcome to my poetry and prose.

My hope is that you’ll see something of yourself in my words, see part of your life there, or at least shades of it. And just maybe you’ll come away with a flicker of understanding that wasn’t there before, a slightly different way of looking at what life throws at us. Better yet, you’ll find some indefinable comfort in my words.

Emily Dickinson sets a high bar, but it’s one that all writers should reach for. Away with all bewildering and indecipherable poems! Too often poetry seems like a fortress that says “Keep Out. You’re not smart enough to get in here.” It’s almost as if an unwritten rule exists about poetry that says: “If you understand it too easily, it can’t be good.” And it leaves you with the feeling that everyone else “gets it” but you.

I am here to deconstruct that. The poetry I enjoy most, and the pieces I aspire to write, invite the reader in. At its best it can be a shared language like no other.

Stay awhile, roam, browse, and enjoy the wonderful photographs.

And do something for me: Remember Emily’s words above and complain out loud to whomever will listen when you come across baffling, unfathomable, impenetrable poetry.

The world will be the better for it.

Meanwhile, I am happy that you came.

“It is not what the poet feels when he writes the poem that matters, but what the reader feels when reading it.”

Most people, myself among them, hear the word poetry, and their eyes glaze over. Or they feel an overwhelming urge for a quick nap.

“Poetry,” they grimace: “No! Please! Couldn’t I have eye surgery without anesthetics instead?”

That’s because we were force-fed the worst of what poetry is as kids. Remember the droning recitations, dissecting reams of the stuff in school, teasing it apart line by line as we blinked to stay awake, coming no closer to understanding any of it.

When I find myself reading a line of poetry over and over again and wonder what I am missing, I feel cheated somehow. And I think we all should.

Too often poetry seems like a building that says “Keep Out. You’re not smart enough to get in here.” It’s almost as if an unwritten rule exists about poetry that says: “If you understand it too easily, it can’t be good.” And it leaves you with the feeling that everyone else “gets it” but you.

I am here to deconstruct that. The poetry I love reading, and the pieces I aspire to write, invite the reader in. At its best it can be a shared language like no other.

Emily Dickinson set a high bar. She said: “I know it’s poetry if it knocks the top of my head off.” I’m with Emily.

Maybe you’ll see something of yourself in my words, see part of your life there, or at least shades of it. And just maybe you’ll find some comfort there. That is what I hope.