Enrich One’s Writing with Personal Experiences (Feat. Kim Mannix)
Kim Mannix is a Canadian poet and fiction writer who has lived in seven cities before settling in Sherwood Park. Her work has been featured on a number of literary journals including Soliloquies Anthology, Poetry Is Dead, Gnarled Oak, Ekphrastic and more. Kim’s wealth of knowledge and her multifaceted character intrigues me to learn more about the diversity of experience that shaped her identity.
- I learned that you are originally from Saskatoon and subsequently lived in seven Canadian cities. Has your exposure to different environments influenced who you are as person and a writer?
Yes, I think living in various places within Canada has influenced who I am as a person and a writer. Our country is so beautifully diverse, in both geography and culture, and having the chance to experience different places, and meet people I otherwise never would have met has been a privilege. There is also an element of starting over that happens every time you move somewhere new. I wrote in every place I’ve lived, but I only started writing poetry again after I moved back to the prairies. There is a familiarity in the landscape and the people that perhaps made it easier to tap back into the creative part of myself.
- In your blog introduction, you identify yourself as a journalist, poet, dark fiction writer, mom, wife, baker, hypochondriac, music lover, TV nerd, a feminist as well as a master procrastinator. What are your thoughts on balancing these various dimensions of your character?
Balancing the aspects of my character with the things I do, or the labels I identify with most strongly, can be difficult depending on what needs to be done on any particular day. By this I mean, some days I am researching an article for paid work, other days that research is watching TV or movies or listening to music because I am an entertainment writer. Many of my poems deal with news or current events, or my children, or my health anxiety. The thread of feminism runs through everything I write, sometimes overtly and sometimes more subtly. I am a procrastibaker on days when the other work of life seems overwhelming. Baking is so satisfying because it’s still creative, but the creation takes much less effort and plus there’s a delicious pay off at the end.
- Out of all the stories and poems you’ve written, is there a particular character that resonates with you the most? How have your readings of other literature contribute to the creation of such character?
I think most of my poems represent some version of me, though that doesn’t always mean the events or ideas are “real” in a biographical sense. Any writer has to read, and read broadly. Poets shouldn’t just read poetry. Novelists shouldn’t just read novels. Read genres you think you don’t like. Read non-fiction. Read historical works and fairy tales. Read plays. Read writers whose style is wildly different than your own. Read things you don’t understand. It’s amazing how a diversity of material can teach and inspire.
As I get to know more about Kim, it becomes increasingly apparent that her insight in writing comes from the multitude of experience she has had. Each piece of literature is a reflection of her identity; conversely, she explores a different side of herself with each new piece of creation. She continues to set foot into unknown territories, nourishing and embracing every part of her identity. The most valuable advice I learned from her is to not limit one’s writing to finding the precise word or crafting the perfect phrase, but rather use it as a tool to explore the sculpt one’s individuality.