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Sempre Avanti
Canada 150


      Un Momento with Sonia Di Placido

      Sep. 10, 2013

      Sonia Di Placido is a stunning Toronto poet, playwright, writer and artist. She has published two wonderful chapbooks, as well as many poems in several anthologies and magazines. Her first book of poetry, Cadmium Red (Guernica Editions 2012), is a passionate collection of poems that really showcases her love of language and expertise as a poet. The poems guide you through a field of emotions and into a world of family and heart felt memory.

      You spent several years studying and developing your writing, what were your most influential experiences as a student of writing so far?

      My most influential experiences were through Theatre Acting training and education. I went to Theatre school in the early 90s and I was fortunate to get into a hands-on program that was both academic and about creative acting that included work with the body and independent writing pieces, which then had to be performed and self-directed. These were called “Entre-acts”. Usually, they consisted of 15-20 minute monologue works or sometimes we were given scenes to write with another person. I found this a breakthrough for my poetry and performance/speech and/or theatre development skills.

      There is a wonderful economy of language and imagery in your book of poetry. What was your writing process like for these poems?

      My writing process to review my images in the poems for the editing and final manuscript’s changes was mostly late at night. I find working between 10:00PM and 2:00AM most productive, as well as at dawn. However, with most of the Cadmium Red poems, they were reviewed and imagery was finalized or strongly set after 9:00PM in the evening. I think there’s something about my brain and a psychological preparation for the dream state before sleep, which allows me to be more attuned to selecting the appropriate word[s] for a specific image.

      If you could only keep one poem from this collection, which would it be and why?

      Oh. This question is too hard to answer well! So, I’m going to say that I cannot pick just one poem.

      How do you think being Italian Canadian has informed or influenced your work?

      I don’t think I can answer this question and give it justice in a paragraph. I’d have to write a personal memoir and a personal essay on ancestry and existence to sum it up really coherently. Short answer is [in total]. It has everything to do with the influence of my work. It is the fundamental part of my being and it enters into and exits out of every crack and crevice, every pore, moves through every cell; each microscopic component of this work is informed by my Italian Canadian journey. It is the essence of my poetics and artistry.

      What major theme or idea would you hope the reader will be left with after reading your book?

      This is a very good question from my point of view. I have not been asked it before. The theme I would want to convey strongly is the passionate nature of the artist[e]. I strove to show the dichotomy of the artist’s spirit in its various states and mediums: the sculptor, painter, writer, activist, political questioner, philosopher, lover, the maddened spirit: mad person, mad woman, madman, the poet, the actor; the duality of their suffering, the glory and the sensationalism that she or he, the artist[e] chooses to carry while being aware of their mortality.

      What are you working on now?

      I’m working on a book that has more to do with my father’s influences on my personal development. He is a hunting expert and taxidermist. The book is a celebration of the North American frontier and what it means to be living as and belong to the landscape of the Americas.  It’s been done before, but this is my version. It has a kind of cowgirl, cowboy ‘western’ theme. Also, there is an Emily Dickinson influence intertwined with Canadian wild woman and wildlife themes.

      To learn more about Sonia Di Placido and her writing, please visit

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