This episode features internationally acclaimed and award-winning writer Michael Ondaatje reading primarily from his canon of poetry. Spanning decades and continents, Ondaatje’s work gives a glimpse into a poetic mind turned novelist. This reading crosses the globe, jumping from Ondaatje’s native Colombo, Sri Lanka to his eventual home in Toronto, Canada. A skilled reader in addition to his poetic abilities, this reading truly transports the listener to those precious moments that have inspired Ondaatje’s career.
Michael Ondaatje is the author of several award-winning novels, as well as a memoir, a nonfiction book on film, and several books of poetry including, The Collected Works of Billy the Kid: Left Handed Poems (1981), which won the Canadian Governor General’s Award in 1971; The Cinnamon Peeler: Selected Poems (1989); and Handwriting: Poems (1998). Among other accolades, his novel The English Patient won the Booker Prize, and Anil’s Ghost won the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, the Giller prize, and the Prix Médicis. Born in Sri Lanka, Michael Ondaatje lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife, Linda Spalding, with whom he edits the literary journal Brick. His recent novels include The Cat’s Table (2011) and Warlight (2018).