When Phil Hall sees a playing card on the street, he picks it up. He’s made two complete decks of cards this way. It’s how he works as a poet, too: picking up images, thoughts, ideas, and seeing what combinations emerge.
His latest work, Killdeer, which won the Trillium Book Award, is a collection of essay-poems about writing, reading, and the lifelong process of learning how to get better at doing both. “I think of them as poems,” Phil says, “but a lot people who don’t read poems will think of them as essays because they are critical thought in the sense that I write about other people’s work.”
Phil strives never to be limited by gender, style, class group, point in time, or nation. He is the author of 12 volumes of poetry, six chapbooks, and a recording of labour songs. In 2001, he was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Poetry and in 2011, he won. He has twice made the shortlist for the Griffin Poetry Prize. A member of the Vancouver Industrial Writers’ Union and the Vancouver Men Against Rape Collective, Phil has been writer-in-residence at the Sage Hill Writing Experience, the Pierre Berton House, and at Queen’s University.
Phil lives in Perth, Ontario, and is an alumnus of Kingston WritersFest.