To launch the Spring 2007 issue of The Magazine, I interview poet and critic Dennis Lee (audio) about his new book Yesno. Besides being the first poet laureate of Toronto, Dennis is something like the cool uncle for an entire generation of youngish poets. He’s also the author of some of the greatest children’s books ever written, including Alligator Pie and Jelly Belly. Lee’s last two books of verse, however, have probably left as many people perplexed as they have exhilerated, and those two conditions aren’t necessarily exclusive. Jamming sounds and words together in a kind of invented dialect, Un, and its successor, Yesno, work towards building a language of disbelief and outrage at the state of the world, while also looking for the right words to heal it. People who have come to think of Lee as a children’s poet might be surprised. But those familiar with those very same poems might not. I met with Dennis in Ninja K’s dining room in April to chat about it all.