Q&A with Winnipeg poet Ken Kowal

Ken Kowal

Ken Kowal is the author of three books of poetry. His most recent, Gimp Crow, was nominated for The John Hirsch Award (Most Promising Writer) in 2010. He is currently working on a collection of short stories.

What compelled you to start writing?

I have a memory from grade school of trying to write an episode of Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show). So early on I had a desire to write. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I seriously tried to write some poems. Nothing much happened until I started to write about the death of my father. It was a way of working through a serious depression.   

How have you evolved as a writer over the years?

The poems have become more interested in language and less based on my life experience. The Gimp Crow book was my attempt to write poems in a variety of styles that would tell a story with characters much like a play.

How has Winnipeg shaped you as a writer?

It’s hard to say how Winnipeg has shaped me as a writer, but I will say I know have been greatly influenced by other Winnipeg writers.

What do you love most about Winnipeg?

It’s home.

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