Hello. You might remember me as the kid sitting against the locker at lunchtime writing melancholy poetry.
I’ve been writing interview pieces for Christian magazines and newspapers since 2005. (In 2002, I published part of my Masters thesis on the Divine Warrior themes in Zechariah in an academic journal, but I’m not even sure my professors read it.) A shy Elvis impersonator, a Grammy-nominated rapper, and a minister-taxidermist are among the people I’ve had the fun of interviewing.
In 2011, I started writing poetry again. I’ve had the opportunity to be mentored by Méira Cook in the Manitoba Writer’s Guild Sheldon Oberman Mentorship Program in 2012, to study under Don MacKay at the Sage Hill Writing Experience poetry colloquium in 2013, and to be Deep Bay artist-in-residence at the Manitoba Arts Council’s cabin in Riding Mountain National Park. Now I’m mentoring another poet, giving back to the Sheldon Oberman Mentorship Program that gave me my start.
My poetry won second (in 2016) and third (in 2014) in Prairie Fire‘s Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award Contest, honourable mention in Rhubarb magazine’s Taboo Poetry Contest, and been shortlisted for Arc Poetry Magazine‘s 2015 Poem of the Year. I’ve also published poems in CV2, TNQ, Grain, Room, The Society, wordgathering, and Lemon Hound. In 2015, I published a chapbook, Roads of Stone, with the Alfred Gustav Press.
My family’s experience with autism (my kids) and Fragile X (my brothers) is a story I’ve shared in the anthology X Stories, in the MB Herald, and now in my first poetry collection Tell Them It Was Mozart (Brick Books, September 2016). Tell Them It Was Mozart won three 2017 Manitoba Book Awards: The Lansdowne Prize for Poetry, The Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book, and the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer.
My walls hold Ant Man stickers, peanut butter fingerprints, a paper-mâché chicken head, and an Amish-made sword (that makes my husband feel manly). I live with my husband, my teenage son and daughter, and a German shepherd-corgi named Lily.
Header photo by anthonymarkphotography.net.