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December 16, 2019

Here's a round up of photos from one of the most stunning nights of my life -- the ceremony awarding the Governor General's Literary Awards.  

The ceremony was held at Rideau Hall -- the residence of the Canadian Head of State, the Governor General -- currently Julie Payette, an astronaut.  It's an enormous stone mansion with beef eater guards and protocol officers in naval dress uniforms who walk you through the five important steps of getting such an award.  In most years it's a ballgown and tux events; this year they changed the dress code to cocktail but I had already ordered a ballgown so I wore the heck out of that thing.  

(Official picture that came later -- me and the head of state.)  

The actual ceremony was held in the “tent room” -- an old tennis court that has been lined with pink and white fabric and hung with oil paintings of white guys in robes.  It’s quite a thing to turn around and face this room: the fabric walls, the huge chandeliers, the crowd...

December 2, 2019

So happy to see the STAND ON THE SKY on this list of best books of the year from the New York Public Library.  If you're looking for presents, by the way, this is an excellent searchable list -- certainly I've found some favorites here.  

October 29, 2019

News broke at the crack of dawn this morning:  my book, STAND ON THE SKY, has won a Governor General's award -- the oldest and highest profile award in Canada.  This is a huge deal. I'm so excited -- I hardly know what to say. 

I think I'm going to need a ball gown.  


October 6, 2019

So the Canada Council sent me a set of GG Finalist Stickers, and I hooked up with my friend Ishta Mercurio took them down my local Indie, Worrds Worth books, and put them on stock copies.   See the delitght.  

October 3, 2019

So this morning the list of books nominated for the GG -- the Governor General's Award -- came out.  I saw it in my e-mail, and really just scanned it briefly.  I didn't see my name or my book cover, so I sighed and went to the basement to help clean up the sewage leak.  (UGGGH don't ask.)   

Then my Twitter notifications started rolling in.   

And I'm up for it.  STAND ON THE SKY has been nominated for a GG.  And I'm on the actual air.  I am standing on the sky. As writers we are not allowed to admit that we want these things, but I wanted this thing.  A lot.  For this book, which is truly the book of my heart. 

The Governor General's awards are Canada's big national awards -- like the National Book Awards in the States.  They're given in seven categories, including the one I'm up for, literature for young people.   They are worth $25K, a big shiney seal, and of course ALL THE GLORY.   Even being nominated is a huge, life-changing, caree...

May 30, 2019

Margaret Atwood was very nice.  I sent her a book a while back and she brought it along so I could sign it. 

The stage was very big

Poets normally read to six people, one of whom is nappign and two of whom are waiting for the mic. 

And I was, frankly, a rock star.  I read three poems, one framed around Fritz Haber (written for the occasion), one about Pavlovsk Station (the one from Best Canadian Poetry) and one about General Relativity (always a barn burner poetry topic).   And I very nearly got a standing ovation. 

This was.  A thing.  

Many people asked me afterward to post the Fritz Haber poem, so I will, soon.  

May 22, 2019


The dress is ready.  But is the author?   

September 8, 2018

...so I can't resist a chance to share.  Here is the CBC's "Ultimate Canadian Poetry Collection" list, where they recommend 68 different volumes of poetry, including one of mine:  

July 1, 2018

So, for Canada Day, the CBC is debuting a list of 100 writers in Canada who are making an impact.  And to my surprise and delight, I'm on it!  

(Actually it's a delightful list for many reasons, not least that it's chockfull of kid's lit, poetry, plays, spoken word, and other forms, and features queer authors, indigenous authors, and authors of colour.  Canlit can sometimes be a bit "the usual suspects who are all white guys plus also Margaret Atwood" so this is so great!)  

March 31, 2018

I am cleaning out the storeroom. Boxes of paper like one of those sand dunes from which archeologists pull papyrus.

A piece of art I bought from Etsy and used as the image for the "painted dress" scene in The Scorpion Rules.  

EK Johnston alters cards to make them the best things ever.  This one for The Scorpion Rules publications.  

When I was still in my twenties I won my first major prize, and it changed my life.  Here's the letter!  

Once upon a time, the New York Times reviewed by debut novel, Plain Kate.  

I wrote a chapbook of erotic poems and published 50 copies of it.  

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