JonArno Lawson - Author
JonArno Lawson lives in Toronto with his wife and three children. In addition to Think Again, he is the author of several other books for children and adults, and is a four-time winner of the Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry. In 2015, he received the Governor General's award for his picture book Sidewalk Flowers.
Born in Hamilton, Ontario and raised in Dundas, JonArno's most formative experiences as a child were the months he spent in Florida at the age of eight. Missing almost an entire year of school (which, luckily, he wasn't forced to repeat), he spent his weekdays at the beach digging holes and collecting seashells and coconuts, traveling in glass bottom boats and visiting nature parks that had free-roaming monkeys and parrots. He wore a ship captain's hat at all times, and a green pouch on his belt, in which he kept a small golden sword, dozens of ticket stubs, a musket ball, brass souvenir coins that bore the faces of various US presidents, a small British flag he found stuck in his fish-and-chips one day and other similar treasures (which he still has and enjoys looking at).
His important influences as a writer were mostly songs: The Gumdrop Follies recordings of Jim Copp and Ed Brown, “The Irish Song” by Tom Lehrer and “The Shape of Things” by Sheldon Harnick. He also loved (and still loves) the songs of Stephen Sondheim, Yip Harburg, Jeff Moss and Joe Raposo.
JonArno's first book of poetry (and aphorisms) was published in 1997, helped in that direction by Canadian novelist Timothy Findley. He often works while walking about, scribbling things down in a notebook he always keeps with him. He also works in his cold, messy basement office at home. He hates messiness, but doesn't have time to both clean and write.
Facebook: JonArno Lawson