Scott Nolan has released nine albums since 2003
Two of Scott Nolan’s poems, “Elvis and me” and “Ten above tomorrow”, were published in Issue 30 of The Puritan.
I started writing poetry in January 2015, approximately three weeks after my 40th birthday. The plan was to replace smoking cigarettes with walking eight to ten kilometres a day. I am a songwriter by trade and often discover melodies and rhythms in the shuffling of my feet. I suppose I spend most of my time thinking about words, music, and language. I found myself writing short poems based on people and places in my neighbourhood, trying to capture a bit of what was happening around me.
An older cousin of mine discovered a gift and passion for poetry while serving time in Folsom State Prison. He was an early influence on me, sending me books and letters from prison and encouraging me to read and write as often as possible. This relationship was the subject of a documentary last year called Visiting Day, produced by the CBC. I was invited to perform and host writing workshops in the very same prison library my cousin wrote to me from all those years ago.
The late Winnipeg poet Patrick O’Connell was also a dear friend and mentor. Patrick is one of my favourite contemporary Canadian poets. I travel with his books and give them as gifts when I have the chance. His was a lyrical style that had a strong impact on my early songwriting. One of the many benefits of working in the arts community in Winnipeg is the quality of work of my peers. It’s consistently encouraging and inspiring.
After more than a decade of relentless touring, I decided to take a year or so away from the road to collaborate, produce records, and enjoy my life in Winnipeg. A play was produced through Manitoba Theatre Projects based on the nine albums I have released since 2003. The play, I Dream of Diesel, enjoyed a two week run of sold-out shows and critical praise from both the community and critics.
Poetry that inspires and influences me includes but is not limited to the following:
When everything is running smoothly, I’d say I’m 70 percent silly and 30 percent serious. I try to read and write every day and never take holidays.
Scott Nolan is a musician and songwriter based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Treaty 1 territory. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org