Writer and publicist Ariel Gordon sees the world through the writer’s lens.
“We all develop ways of processing the world or making sense of the world. I process the world (by) writing about it, for better or for worse,” she says.
Gordon’s journey as a writer started in a literature class, where she told her English professor that she didn’t like poetry. Little did she know then that she was going to be a writer and poet herself.
Gordon’s love for writing and language took her to Halifax for a journalism degree from the University of King’s College and to Seoul, South Korea, where she taught English.
“I went from Winnipeg, a city of 750,000 people to 14 million there (in Seoul). It was definitely interesting, and I really enjoyed it.”
One thing that remained constant over the years and between these different places has been her passion and tenacity for writing, but that came with challenges of its own.
She had to make tough calls managing her side hustles while taking out the time to write. Her initial plan was to become a science journalist, which would pay well and also allow her to write.
“I knew even then that poetry was not a way to make a living,” she says.
“I write a lot about urban nature, kind of how we relate to each other. I also write about what it means to be a woman, but I don’t lean hard on that.”
Her writing and home share an earthy vibe, resonating well with her recent book Treed, where she walks readers through urban forests of Canada.
“It’s really nice to live alongside trees, something that’s living. They’re beautiful and soften the edges of the city, and (they are) important, especially when climate change comes knocking at the door,” Gordon says.
The porch is her favourite spot in the house and where she typically writes in the summer. Her home of the past decade is filled with character, creativity and undertones of earthy, brown hues.
“I really like rocks .. often I’ll go on vacation and bring back rocks. That’s my idea of a souvenir.”
“Aren’t they awesome? There’s a poet named Basma Kavanagh. She is a visual artist as well. She saw them and sent them to me.”
“I inoculated my book with mushroom spores, and they just started growing. I’m making the mushrooms eat my book, and then I’m going to eat the mushrooms. In effect, I get to eat my book.”
“Hump was my first book. It is pregnancy and mothering poems. I took wikiHow (entries) and wrote strange poems about them.
“This (Treed) is my latest book, which is a book of non-fiction about the urban forest in Winnipeg and other places.”
Published in Volume 74, Number 5 of The Uniter (October 3, 2019)