Monday Aug 07, 2023

Susan Musgrave

My guest on this episode is Susan Musgrave. Susan is the author of nineteen books of poetry, numerous works of fiction and non-fiction, and several books for children. In 2023, she was recognized with the George Woodcock Award for Outstanding Literary Achievement in British Columbia. Susan also teaches poetry in the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing school, where I was lucky enough to be her student – twice – while completing my MFA degree.


Susan’s most recent book of poetry, Exculpatory Lilies, was published in 2022 by McClelland & Stewart, and was shortlisted for the 2023 Griffin Poetry Prize.


Susan and I talk about the literally sensational nature of her life story, about the loss of her husband Stephen Reid and her daughter Sophie, which inspired many of the poems in Exculpatory Lillies, and about her dislike of the easy and clichéd healing narrative that ends with her starting to write poetry again. (Though she is totally doing that.)


Susan Musgrave:

Music: "simple-hearted thing" by Alex Lukashevsky. Used with permission.

Contact Nathan Whitlock at

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