Tanya Davis

TanyaDavisBy Alexis Pooley

Tanya Davis was the 2011/12 Poet Laureate of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her creative collaboration with Andrea Dorfman, the videopoem How to be Alone, has had more than 5 million views on YouTube, garnering Tanya new fans and supporters from the world over. She regularly receives commissions to pen poems and speeches and has worked in this regard for such bodies as the Canada Winter Games, the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women, CBC Radio, and the National Film Board of Canada. She also works and performs as a songwriter and musician and has released 3 full length albums, picking up awards and nominations for each one. Her first book of poetry, At first, lonely, was published in 2011 by Acorn Press.

Your work has often sidestepped traditional, singular genres in order to merge and embrace multiple genres and has attracted a widespread audience. When you first began your career did you ever have concerns, not in your work or in your creative vision, but in your work finding an audience?

I had a few concerns, sure, but they didn’t overwhelm me. At the end of the day, I’m not that strategic, in the business-savvy sort of way. I make art for joy and fulfillment and because it’s the kind of work I’ve come to realize I do best; that is, in all its facets. I just want to create things and so it’s less of a priority to cultivate one specific audience. I like to do lots of different things. It makes life (and creativity) more interesting. [Read more…]