A few paths up the same mountain

I started this blog a little more than a year ago. Would you like to know why? It’s because I had failed, for the umpteenth time, to get any of the various jobs I had applied for in my field (this time I had applied for a creative writing instructor position at a university in […]

Those who insist on listening nonetheless

“The discipline of the appreciative review is, I believe, among the great unsung arts of our culture. I suspect it remains unsung because, appearances to the contrary, it is not actually a species of speaking, but a species of listening; and our culture tends to regard listening as a passive activity. But listening — real […]

Mother’s Day


#1–Mother’s Day brunch at my in-laws’ place, a trip to the playground, a drive-home double-nap, beer with my sweetheart on the front lawn, sun and a breeze–ah. I even managed to sit solo beneath the birch in the sun and read a bit of last year’s Griffin International Poetry Prize winner Gjertrud Schnackenberg’s Heavenly […]

The Hook of the “Mommy Wars,” and Feminism

You’ve probably heard the hubbub lately over the recent cover of Time magazine that has frustrated and angered many mothers because of its deeply problematic representation of extended breastfeeding. Leave aside the many, many reasons for which this photograph and its accompanying title “Are you Mom enough?” are ridiculous, merely provocative, and not at all […]

On Influence

(photo by Shawna Lemay)

I’m going to be part of a poetry reading and panel discussion on “poetic influence” tomorrow. If you’re in Edmonton, this will be a great chance to listen to local poets read from their own work and discuss influences.

A Calm Conversation–Poetry Reading and Panel on Poetic Influences

Edmonton poets […]

What it says

March, march, march–how do you do it? Just as the daffodils poke their noses through the soil, a return to winter, heavy snow. Not that it isn’t beautiful–bright crystals shining on the roof, crystals on the back deck so intricately lit by morning sun I don’t want the dog to walk on them (but walk […]

“The story will tell you”

Another phrase of mine has come back to me, recently, from an unexpected angle. When I read to J. (unsurprisingly, this is one of my favourite child-minding activities), she is full of questions. Sometimes, I stop to answer her questions. Sometimes, I answer in more detail than she is looking for (though just as often […]

On focus and concentration

Dancing winter sunlight on Ministik trail, photo by Jonathan Martin-DeMoor

I wanted this post to be about focus, mostly because I’ve set myself a goal of completing a draft of the novel by the end of August (yikes), and I want to spend March finishing up the planning work I’m doing so in April […]

Happy (belated) Leap Day

Yesterday was my daughter’s first Leap Day. I tried to explain the concept to her, but got a bit hung up in the details. I had the vague sense this extra day existed to correct for some kind of basic imperfection in the fit between the earth’s orbit around the sun and the system we […]

“Old friends”

I wake up on this morning each year thinking of my childhood friend, also named Lisa, remembering that it’s her birthday. Even though I haven’t seen her since 1988, I wake up thinking of her simply because when I was 8 years old I tried really hard to remember this–to attach this date to her. […]