Anne Simpson


Please describe your own artistic practice.  

I write poetry, novels, and essays. Every day, I do something associated with my own writing (or editing other writers’ work).

My fifth book of poetry is Strange Attractor and a third novel, Speechless, will be out soon, along with a book of essays, Experiments in Distant Influence. I am starting work on a fourth novel, The Walker.

How do the arts contribute to your own wellbeing?

As long as I am exploring new ground in my writing, I am curious and interested. It is not at all an easy process – it’s the most difficult work I can imagine doing – but the challenge of it is hugely enriching. I wake up every day knowing that this is the work I should be doing.

How are you connected with AHA! and AHA! projects? Which role(s) have you fulfilled?

I’ve probably done a little of everything in my work with AHA! over the years. The most fulfilling work has been that of helping others to tell their stories and then supporting people in dramatizing the stories. The Eldertree Project was a really wonderful community project of telling the stories of elders. It was followed by my work with the Shoe Project, in which I helped immigrant women tell their stories and shape those stories for the stage.

What do you feel was the impact of the project(s) on participants? 

Participants become really excited about what they can do, and what they can achieve, and this is beautiful to see.

Have you learned or ‘taken away’ anything from your work with AHA!?

I believe that the power of story is truly at the heart of all that we do in AHA! To help people show themselves by telling their own stories is to reveal how much they have to offer.