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Seven Questions for Poets #10 – Elly Nobbs

My final interviewee in this series is E.E. Nobbs. Elly is a Canadian poet whose book The Invisible Girl won the Doire Press International Chapbook Competition in 2013.

I almost feel I’ve met Elly – she’s a bit of a poetry Anglophile given her impressive presence on our UK poetry blogs, at The Poetry School and numerous other places. And she’s very supportive of others on social media, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to include her here – also to bring a dash of transatlantic je ne sais quoi to this little patch of poetic doodahs. (NB Canada – a bit of French – see what I did there??)

I know you’re going to enjoy Elly’s answers so I’ll get on with it…

1 – What was the last poetry book you read, that you would recommend?

I just read Click and Clone by Elaine Equi. I admire by her wit, wisdom, conciseness and versatility. In some ways (wit-wise & concise-wise) she’s like another favourite American poet of mine, Kay Ryan.

2 – What would be your ideal place for a writing retreat?

The ocean within easy walking distance. With a dog for company.

3 – Do you enter poetry competitions?

Haven’t as much lately. Usually once or twice a year. But by entering a Doire Press contest in 2013, I won a prize and got my chapbook published – the major thrill of the 21st century for me.

4 – If someone has never read any poetry, where would you suggest they start?

The Writer’s Almanac daily podcast and web site. Garrison Keillor is a fine reader who provides interesting literary tidbits along with the poem.

Also, this FREE online course by Open Ed is a super way to enter the world of poetry and learn more about how and why poets do what they do. And it’s free.

And your question is reminding me to catch up with Carol Rumen’s weekly poem and comments in The Guardian. She’s great.

5 – You’re asked to give a reading at the Royal Festival Hall, to thousands of people. What goes through your mind?

That I might finally get to meet in person my first poetry tutor, Bill Greenwell and other friends that I’ve made over the years online at his poetry courses and clinics – and also folks that I’ve met through Poetry School online courses.

And that I would finally USE my passport!

6 – Why is end-rhyme considered a good thing in performance poetry, but rarely found in contemporary magazines?

There are always going to be some poets who do a good job of rhyme. Your question got me curious so I went looking online for a Canadian example. Here’s one that I found and like … ‘Herons on the Ice’ by Richard Sangar.

7 – Can you remember the first poem you wrote – what was it about?

A Grade 12 English assignment was to write the nymph’s response to
‘The Passionate Shepherd to His Love’ by Christopher Marlowe. I think I still have it somewhere…


Elly is working on a couple of reviews for the literary magazine Galatea Resurrects and encourages other folks to do the same. The next deadline is November 27th.  It is edited by the energetic and generous Eileen Tabios.

Previous ‘Seven Questions for Poets’:
#1 – Clare Best
#2 – Jill Abram
#3 – Antony Mair
#4 – Hilda Sheehan
#5 – Ian Humphreys
#6 – Claire Dyer
#7 – Louise Ordish
#8 – Anna Kisby
#9 – Rosemary Badcoe

Published inBlogInterviewsSeven Questions


  1. elly elly

    Merci Robin – Je me sens chaleureusement adopté par la communauté de poésie à travers le Big Puddle – ce qui signifie beaucoup pour moi !!

    [ps – I used Google translate for the above. Even though I live in an officially bilingual country, I am not much beyond reading the backs of cereal boxes – ie all food labels etc must be in both languages, but I thought I’d better try to do my bit here today 😀 xx]

  2. Louise ordish Louise ordish

    Robin, this has been a lovely way to get to know a bit more about your chosen poets. Thank you for giving us all a hand up to the warm stage of your blog.

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Robin Houghton 2024