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Dan O’Brien and Paul Watson

30 October 2015 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The poet and playwright Dan O’Brien discusses his latest collection of poetry, New Life, which deal with his experiences with the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Paul Watson, who also joins the conversation discussing his reporting, and his resignation from the Toronto Star this past summer, with Joseph Planta.

New Life by Dan O’Brien (CB Editions, 2015).

Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: New Life

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver, at TheCommentary.ca.

Dan O’Brien has just published a collection of poetry, New Life. It is a collection of poems written by O’Brien about the journalist Paul Watson. His first collection published two years ago, War Reporter, received the 2013 Fenton Aldeburgh Prize, and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, in the United Kingdom. The friendship and to a certain extent, collaboration with Watson has thus far yielded two collections of poetry, a prize-winning play, The Body of an American, as well as an opera. Both Dan O’Brien and Paul Watson join me now. I’ll get them to discuss the connection shared by these two men, and the poems that Dan has written, and the process to which he came to them. Paul Watson is an award-winning journalist who received the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography in 1994 for his photograph of Sgt. William Cleveland’s body being dragged through the streets in Mogadishu. He has received many awards for his reporting in war zones across the world. New Life features poems that follow Mr. Watson through some of his reporting of the Arab Spring, such as Syria, Libya, and Egypt. He resigned this past summer from the Toronto Star, after many years at the paper, over differences had over reporting he had done on the Franklin Expeditions. The website for more is at www.arcticstarcreativity.com. Dan O’Brien is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow in Drama and Performance Art. The Body of an America received the Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American Play, the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama, and the PEN Center USA Award for Drama. Dan’s website is at www.danobrien.org. New Life is published by CB Editions. Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, in Los Angeles today, Dan O’Brien; Mr. O’Brien, good morning. And in Toronto, Paul Watson; Mr. Watson, good morning.