I was born and raised in Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada. It is on the banks of the Red River, north of Winnipeg, and south of Lake Winnipeg. I am of Icelandic heritage on both sides; fishermen, farmers, readers, and writers. My father and his two brothers had their own commercial fishing business. It was a great place to grow up with lots of outdoor life. The land was as flat as a snooker table and all four seasons were clearly defined. Hot as the “hubs of hell” in summer and snow so deep in the winter that some years buried homes. Fabulous beaches in the summer fun, and winter lead to music, arts, theatre, and games. A true melting pot of culture, entertainment, and food. But, as I became an adult the Rocky Mountains called me to western Canada.
What is the greatest thing about the place you call home?
I call Canada my home, all of it. Manitoba has my family relatives. I moved to Alberta to start and raise my own family. I got to draw from two great climates and cultures, with new places and adventures in the Rocky Mountains. I would tease the Manitoba relatives, “you will love it here, but the mountains ruin the view in all four directions.” Then for my retirement years, my wife and I decided to live the last 12 years in the Gulf Islands on the west coast of British Columbia. My home always grows.
What turns you on creatively?
Everything! All the people, places, music, books, landscapes, hamlets, villages, towns, and cities. Plus all the empty places like mountains, oceans, with their wildlife and history. I am an empty vessel; I need to refill.
What is your favorite word, and can you use it in a poetic sentence?
This is a conundrum, as I love all words and weave them continually into my life. My moniker as “The Wordbutcher” is due to scheming to use vowels for nouns and visa versa. Example: Chuck Berry’s lyric “motorvating” in the song Mabeleen to mean motoring up a highway, was brilliant. Hence, I composed a poem about penicalating a note (to register a thought) to inkalating it, leading to keyilating as keyboarding it for publishing. Today’s word is fortunate as in keyilating “I am the fortunate one”.
What is your pet peeve?
First, I would never have a peeve as a pet. I have a delightful Golden Retriever as a pet. Peeves are offensive nasty things – like documents, forms, and mundane requirements like what font is acceptable. Hmmm!
What defines Gerry Stefanson?
Surprisingly, I like most everything and everyone, and I am grateful for that. But, as my lovely lady does advise that I do require a filter (on occasion).
Born and raised on the prairies of Manitoba Canada, along the Red River and just south of Lake Winnipeg. Then Alberta and ten years in the Rockies, just above Montana. The last decade in the Canadian Gulf Islands. People, ideas and stories set the stage of my poetry and writing. Music and art fill my days and verse fills my head. I feel the fortunate one and share this world with my life partner.