Q&A with Kaie Kellough

In my previous post I introduced you to Kaie Kellough – Montreal-based poet, spoken word artist and educator – via his new book Maple Leaf Rag. Recently, Mr Kellough was kind enough to grant me an email interview, speaking candidly about his life, work, and literary influences among other things.

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Broken English – Or, Why I Suddenly Have a Burning Literary Crush on Kaie Kellough


Photo by Terence Byrnes, courtesy of http://www.kaie.ca


Kaie Kellough is a bilingual, Montreal-based poet, educator and spoken word artist whose work has been highly acclaimed in cultural and literary circles.  Words tossed around regarding him and his work include “rhythm personified”*, “dynamic…jazz-infused”*, and “socially conscious”*.

His first book of poetry Lettricity is a lyrical exploration of Montreal, and like Watchmen‘s Rorschach, he has seen the city’s true face. His words evoke hyperreal visions of life in the city, interspersed with historic and literary references and pulsing with inflections of jazz and energy – hence, the ‘lettricity’ of the title.

Perhaps by virtue of being fluent in both French and English, Kellough says that as a young, angry poet he swore that he would “break the English language”. This ambitious admission came during an interview with Stefan Christoff promoting his new book Maple Leaf Rag. Of course, English being the Frankenstein’s monster that it is, Kellough says he found breaking it a lot easier said than done.

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