Thursday, February 06, 2014

Reprint: The Poetry of the P****

From the February 6, 2014 edition of the The Uniter, the University of Winnipeg student newspaper.

* * *

So...I know that I once joked, while touring Hump, that I was the poet-most-Googled-by-perverts. (It was because I'd posted an early draft of my "Tit Poem" here to the blog and, surprisingly, there's a global need for poems about boobies.)

But even so, I wasn't completely prepared for the headline of this Uniter article. But the funny thing is...I'm not mad.

I was a volunteer arts reporter at the Uniter when I was 19. The next year, I got the Arts & Entertainment Editor gig. I reviewed books and plays and movies and interviewed bands. And, as editor, I helped other people have the same fun-in-print. After two years as A&E Editor,  I became the Canadian University Press field worker and visited all the student newspapers in my region, dispensing dubious wisdom.

It's been nearly twenty years since I left the U of Wpg and my various jobs at the Uniter. And so I was proud to be interviewed by Kristy Hoffman for the June 29th issue of The Uniter four years ago, when Hump came out. I was a double alumna, right? And writer Adam Petrash was great to work with this time round: well-prepared, thoughtful, professional.

But The Poetry of the P**** took me right back to my student journalism days in a way that being interviewed for an article hadn't.

I remember the long/strange production nights, where we'd type in weird/crude headlines and giggle. But we always changed them to something more...well, thoughtful. More professional. I remember the to-dos when student journalists across the country would print things that teetered on the edge of being racist/sexist/homophobic, of being libelous (like this week's Sam Katz lawsuit, for instance...), or even just of being in poor taste.

But mostly, I remember is how young and impetuous everyone was, when I worked at the paper. So I'm a little embarrassed. But I understand.

(Okay, two more memories from my time at the paper, mostly because I'm a broken machine: I remember how I sliced off the tip of my finger with an exacto knife when I was trimming articles to fit on the flats that went to the printers. How I giddily confessed to my co-workers that I'd BLED on the flats. I remember the waxer we used to stick articles to the flats, how I used it when I had a genetics assignment that required lining up chromosomes on a page. How I lost a chromosome in the waxer. )


red-handed said...

I still won't people use my x-acto knife, because taking people to the hospital is boring. Also: I don't know if you should throw around the words "penis" and "waxer" so freely in the same article.

Ariel Gordon said...

I live on the e-edge.

Debbie Strange said...

Ugh! Your work deserves to be taken more seriously than the headline suggests. Good to see you at Anita's launch, and wishing you much success at yours...