Anne Marie Corrigan

Pine Row Issue No. 5 Summer 2022 - Featured Poet

Boss of the Pool

All Tilly Koffmann wants to do

Is be boss of the swimming pool

Goggles on, nose plugs in place

I’m hoping she won’t see my face

Despite my guise, there’s no such luck

She’s seen me, oh ballzshit’n’fuck

Her voice cuts through the chlorine smell

You’re late again, I hear her yell

She’s there to greet, she’s there to scold

To direct swimmers young and old

Her cap is white, her togs are brown

Half bowling pin from ribs to crown

I’m almost at the water’s edge

My toes reach for the tiled ledge

The neon blue looks so divine

The water calls, I’m pressed for time

Yoo hoo she calls, I have to stop

Her buoyant boobs bob on top

Come here, she says, my knees must bend

She whispers, like I’m her best friend

Behind her hand she points toward

A flower-cap kicking with a board

That one, she sniffs, she takes all day

I wish she’d get out of the way

And him the sloppy backwards stroke

Someday he’s going to punch some bloke

That one, baldie with the crawl

He’s the most annoying of all

His pace uneven, now fast now slow

I never know which way he’ll go

And you, before you hit your stride

I’ve some advice to grease the ride

Keep those eyes above the line

Your arms in front, your legs behind

Propel those limbs and push on through

I know you’ve got more fire in you

She likes to sort the likes of me

Tilly has no kids you see

We’re goslings to her Mother Goose

She’s locomotive and caboose

She’s had the heat turned up a notch

Queen Guardian Angel Water Watch

The water’s warm, no shock at all

I persevere, break through the wall

You did it! And I have to smile

She’s right. I finally made that mile

Interview with Anne Marie Corrigan

by Pine Row Editorial Board

How did you get started as a poet?

I grew up in Ireland where poetry is in the nod and wink of everything. It is a huge part of the education system from kindergarten on. My father had an incredible ability to remember all types of poems which he would share with us whenever the mood struck - which was, thankfully, often. My mother has a deep love for poetry, and for Seamus Heaney's beautiful writing in particular. She falls asleep to his book Stepping Stones every night. I've always loved reading poetry but only started writing and sharing my poems (in earnest) about a year ago. One of the members of my writing group, Rachel Rose, was Poet Laureate of Vancouver, BC, and she encouraged me to give it a whirl.

Favorite quote?

When I was eight, autograph books were all the rage. My mum wrote this in my little red gilt-edged book and I have kept the words close all these decades later.

Love Many,

Trust few,

Always paddle

Your own canoe

What would you say is your most interesting writing habit?

I like to light a candle before I start writing. The action of striking a match and lighting a flame helps separate the "what was then" and" what is now" for me.

What book is currently on your bedside table?

I just finished A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders. I am gobsmacked by the man's generosity in sharing seven favourite lectures that he gives to students who take his nineteenth-century masters of Russian short stories course. I have been swooning at every literary deep dive and his nudges to young writer students into acquiring the technical means to become "defiantly and joyfully themselves" in their own stories. I am also dipping in and out of Japanese Death Poems (written by Zen monks and Haiku poets on the verge of death) by Yoel Hoffman.

Advice to someone just starting to write poetry?

My advice is to always read your poem out loud. Listen to the beat and musicality of your words. Feel how they trip from your tongue to the listener's ear. Always use surprising language and try to find a break in the poem where it opens up in a way neither you or the reader was expecting.

What inspires you to write?

Many things that inspire me to write. Tantalizing words or expressions, a happy or sad thought, an exquisite nuance of nature, a screech of brakes, or light reflecting off a skyscraper, my dog's waggle, a crushed petal, crunched pebble, lyrics from a song, the list goes on!

Anything else you'd like us to know?

I have a website: I am compiling an anthology of poems that I hope to get published later this year and am also tapping into my roots to create a modern version of a Celtic mythological story tentatively called The Child with Silver Hair.

Anne Marie Corrigan is an Irish writer living in Vancouver, BC who is privileged to live and work on the traditional, ancestral and unceded Coast Salish Lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) people. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Subterranean Blue Poetry, Alive Magazine, The Exchanger, The Thunderbird Magazine, In Dublin Magazine, and Orato. Alongside her love of poetry, Anne Marie has also completed her first book of fiction, The Cause, and is working to get it published.

Read more about Anne Marie at