Saskatoon, Treaty 6: Brendan Flaherty

photo credit: Jennifer Sparrowhawk

photo credit: Jennifer Sparrowhawk

I haven’t known Brendan that long, but it feels like I have because I’d see him everywhere. He’s definitely a man about town and always up to something intriguing.

KC: What’s your day job? What do you like about it? What’s challenging?

This isn’t the simplest question to answer. Mainly, I work for CFCR as the ad writer and producer. It’s nice because I get presented with unique challenges on a daily or weekly basis that I often get to solve by writing something. Sometimes I worry that I’m putting my best ideas into ads, but then I ignore that. If I can’t come up with anything better, I have no business doing anything ever. I also serve people food at The Rook and Raven and I do a weekly karaoke night (currently on hiatus) and I work at The Vinyl Diner on most Saturdays. So… I’m pretty busy. Sorry – what was the question?

KC: What kinds of projects are you involved in right now?

I’m getting set to head to Vancouver at the end of April for the Verses Festival of Words. I’m representing Saskatoon at the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam. So, that should be pretty fun. Other than that mess of drinking and competitive poetry: I’m trying to get a quarterly anthology of comics and short fiction off the ground; I’m helping to organize the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word (coming to Saskatoon this Fall!); I have this pile of laundry that I should really do.

KC: What is important to you?

Trust and honesty. This applies to me creatively and otherwise. I feel like artists need to build up a certain amount of trust with their audiences so that they can then subvert expectations. That’s the fun part. You need to build a relationship with people, and all relationships are built upon trust.

Also, deep-fried or/and cheese-covered foods. Very important.

KC: What do you like best about Saskatoon?

It’s become a cliché, but honestly – the sense of community. Our arts community is tiny, which is kind of awful. But it’s very freeing. You can build that trust I mentioned earlier with a pretty high degree of ease. And you can have somebody vouch for you if you’re trying to get into a sold out show or something, which is nice. It’s a double-edged sword, but it’s our sword.

KC: (from the Proust Questionnaire) Who are your favourite writers?

If you want to write, obviously you should read. But I’ve always had a hard time playing favourites. I try not to emulate anybody, since I already do a lot of imitation in my work. I try to keep a clear mind, challenge myself, breathe deeply, and ignore everything.

That said, I’m reading Nicholson Baker right now and he’s fantastic.

You can find Brendan on bandcamp here: http://brendanflaherty.bandcamp.com/