Photo credit: John W. MacDonald
I am a writer of fiction and poetry living in Ottawa, Ontario on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people. I was raised on the Canadian prairies, mostly in Regina on Treaty 4 territory, the traditional territory of the Cree and Saulteaux, Assiniboine and Métis. I went to university in Regina, and in Montreal and Toronto before moving to Vancouver for a number of years. I am grateful to now be living and well-settled in Ottawa.
I've been making stories since before I could hold a pen. I've written most of my life, with pauses or minimal output during years of raising a family and working in the legal field. Since being able to devote more time to my craft, my short stories and poems have been published in literary magazines throughout Canada and in the United States, and in anthologies with themes as varied as the films of Alfred Hitchcock, mothers and daughters, form poetry, and sexual assault.
My most recent book is Openwork and Limestone, my third poetry collection, published by Frontenac House in October 2022. Seeking Shade, my collection of short stories from The Porcupine's Quill was published in August 2020. My first poetry collection, Light-carved Passages was published by Buschek Books in 2014, and my second, This White Nest, by Quattro Books in 2019. My novella, Tower, with Fish Gotta Swim Editions came out in June, 2018.
HONOURS & AWARDS
I've been fortunate enough to receive a number of prizes and other acknowledgements for my writing.
Seeking Shade, my 2020 short story collection, from The Porcupines Quill won the Miramichi Reader Very Best! Award, and was a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Award (for best debut collection in Canada - read the jury citation here) and the ReLit Award for indie publishers. Individual poems have been selected for inclusion in The Best Canadian Poetry series, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize, for Best of the Net and for a Canadian National Magazine Award.
Significant early recognitions include the Diana Brebner Award for poetry (winner), the Great Canadian Literary Hunt (first place for poetry and third place for fiction in the same year), the Tree Reading Series chapbook manuscript prize (winner), the Sawdust Reading Series poem-off competiton (winner) and the Bliss Carmen- Banff Centre Prize for poetry (2nd place). I was named as a "Hot Ottawa Voice" in 2014.
I am a strong believer in the support that writers can provide to each other, and in the benefits of a strong and diverse community. I have been part of many writing groups and have taken courses where mutual nurturing of creativity is paramount. The Ruby Tuesday writing group I helped to found has been meeting weekly since 2006.
I have facilitated small-group writing workshops for the Canadian Authors' Association, National Capital branch, for the Ottawa Public Library, the Sawdust Reading Series and the Tree Reading Series. I have had many wonderful writing mentors, and am pleased whenever I am able to pass along the benefit of what I've learned.
I was part of the editorial team for Arc Poetry Magazine for over 10 years, variously as President, Vice-President and Associate Poetry Editor. I write reviews for Canthius: feminism and literary arts journal, and for Arc. I have volunteered with VerseFest (Ottawa's international poetry festival) and been an interviewer for the Ottawa International Writers Festival. I have recently taken on a new role as Secretary of The League of Canadian Poets, and I have been a long time member both of the League and The Writers Union of Canada.
Past arts-related volunteer work includes positions with the group that provides support for an Ottawa arts-magnet high school, and with Vancouver's Co-op Radio and the charity that supports it. Outside the arts, I've volunteered with organizations including National Association of Women and the Law, the Women's Legal Education & Action Fund, CARE Canada, and a women's community economic development group.
I gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance of the City of Ottawa, of the Ontario Arts Council, of Access Copyright Foundation, and of the Canada Council for the Arts.