The Moosehead Anthology 8

The Matrix Interviews

Edited by Robert Allen
Categories: Poetry anthologies (various poets), Poetry, Biography, Literature and Literary studies
Series: The Moosehead Anthology
Publisher: DC Books
Paperback : 9780919688865, 182 pages, March 2001


An intertwined history binds Matrix and The Moosehead Anthology. Both appeared in The Eastern Townships of Quebec: Matrix in 1975 and the original Moosehead Review in1977, now a regular release from DC Books. Here these three presses have converged to produce a selection of the Matrix interviews, a tradition from the early days of the journal and still a feature of it.

The interviewer is often a writer in these interviews. Their length, thoughtfulness, and comprehensiveness reflect this fact. Whether it is Mary di Michele interviewing Anne Carson, P. Scott Lawrence interviewing Neil Bissoondath, Terry Byrnes interviewing David Fennario, Carmine Starnino interviewing Michael Harris and Erin MourÈ, Victor Coleman interviewing Michael Crummey or Taien Ng-Chan interviewing Stephanie Bolster, there is quite often a sense of mutual interrogation of two writers talking while we listen.

Not all interviewers are novelists or poets. One of the best is Philip Lanthier, the original editor of Matrix, here represented by interviews with D. G. Jones and Robert Allen. Brent Bambury, who interviewed Martin Amis and Elaine Kalman Naves, who talked to Marie-Claire Blais, have reputations primarily as journalists. Robert Majzels was interviewed by Liane Moyes, a professor of language and literature at the UniversitÈ de MontrÈal. Most of the interviews follow the classic form, but for sheer originality, look at Taien Ng-Chanís whimsical three-part interview of Stephanie Bolster, and Corey Frostís intelligent and performative discourse with Gail Scott. Then there are the interviews in which thereís a sense that two sensibilities are staking out their own ground: see Carmine Starninoís interview of Erin MourÈ and Terry Byrnesí interview of fellow resident of Verdun, David Fennario


"The vast majority of these interviews are entertaining and highly engaging. In addition to the pervasive concerns with race, gender, sexuality, and nation, there is definitely a sense of Montreal." -- Canadian Literature, Spring 2003 "The interviews are neatly and cleanly spaced out on the page, and, admirably, are also an eclectic mix of both writer and subject matter. Additionally, many of the writers are interviewed by other writers, which allows the reader to have an interest in both sides of the conversation.... For providing a variety of accessible insights, The Matrix Interviews is an extremely worthwhile book." -- Books in Canada, 2002