Thursday, December 07, 2006 - The land serves as writer's muse - The land serves as writer's muse: "

The land serves as writer's muse
Like the Canadian explorers and diarists before him, Seán Virgo lets his surroundings shape his writing
Dec. 4, 2006. 06:30 AM

Sitting in the stone-tiled kitchen of his publisher's Rosedale home, relaxing in customary jeans and pullover, Seán Virgo does not look out of place. But this is a man whose natural habitat is the natural habitat.
You can see him in his element, walking over the ridges near his home in Eastend, Sask., striding up a prairie highway, or wandering through tall grasslands in a recent 13-part series, Middle of Somewhere, for the Saskatchewan Communications Network. Virgo both wrote and hosted the series, an exploration of his adopted province.
You can also find the landscapes that make up his life on the pages of Begging Questions (Exile Editions), Virgo's new book of short stories. Or, should you be so fortunate as to spend a bit of time with him, you can hear about them in his conversation.
Behind this author of a dozen books of poetry and fiction you can imagine a line of Canadian writers devoted to the land — from the early explorers, like Jacques Cartier and David Thompson who captured it in their journals, to the settler sisters Susanna Moodie and Catherine Parr Traill, Charles G.D. Roberts, Ernest Thompson Seton, Grey Owl and, in our own age, Roderick Haig-Brown and Farley Mowat.
In fact, a book Virgo edited, The Eye in the Thicket, is an anthology of co"

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