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Q&A: poet and Book Fridge founder Kerri Cull

Labrador writer Kerri Cull, founder of the literary blog The Book Fridge, recently released her debut collection of poems, Soak (Breakwater Books).

Quillblog caught up with Cull before her reading tonight at the White Horse Lounge in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.

What inspired The Book Fridge?
The food metaphor came from the idea of how we choose what books to read. I have a couple hundred books in my book room just waiting to be picked up.  Whenever I’m ready to start a new book, I browse and skim that pile as I would browse the fridge for a snack, looking for something that satiates my hunger or my craving. It also refers to food for thought and the obvious reference to books feeding us in some way.

You’re originally from Corner Brook, Newfoundland. What drew you to Labrador?
I was working in St. John’s for a broadcasting company but didn’t really see it going anywhere and I wasn’t using my education, so I accepted a job teaching English literature and communications at the College of the North Atlantic*.

How has living in Labrador influenced your writing?
Living in Labrador has become both a blessing and curse. I have the time to write but I have never felt more isolated as there is no community of writers from which I can draw inspiration or support. I have a few writers that I keep in contact with via email, and Book Fridge helps me stay connected to writers and readers.

Why did you name your first collection Soak?
has many meanings: to experience, to saturate, to lie in. There are sexual connotations to that word, too, that evoke ideas about the body and the way our bodies experience, which sometimes can be different from that of our minds. I thought it truly spoke to the themes in the collection.

Why do you write poetry?
You can read one poem on its own and it can really rock you, change your perspective or inspire. Poetry can be very powerful and is quite amazing in that regard. It’s like no other genre in that it doesn’t necessarily need an anchor for context. It becomes its own anchor.

Correction, April 28: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this story stated that Cull teaches at Memorial University of Newfoundland.