Tanis Rideout (2008) published a new book of poetry, Arguments with the Lake (Wolsak and Wynn, 2013), following up her acclaimed debut novel Above All Things (McClelland & Stewart, 2012).
In Arguments the writer, who spent part of her youth in Kingston and now lives in Toronto, considers the challenge Marilyn Bell and Shirley Campbell set for themselves: swimming across Lake Ontario. Bell goes first and succeeds. Campbell comes after and fails. Tanis's verse explores, in depth, the act and its implications for the two women.
The poems also grew out of Tanis's involvement with the non-profit group Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. "That’s when I began to really think about how we exist on its shores, how the lake exists inside us – how it shapes us individually and wholly and what it means to be cut off from it, or alienated from it."
Originally considering acting, Tanis discovered the challenge of writing: "I jumped in." Eventually this brought her to the MFA program. "What I think [it] gave me was the confidence to think of the possibility of my work counting, that writing could make a difference."