On the Passing of Elizabeth the Great

She showed the world how to be a woman of worth, of dignity and of steady courage – to be clear, I place her beside and after my mom, my spirit mom and my aunties. They are the personal, she the societal image of what a woman needs to be – strong, grounded, gracious but relentlessly firm.

What a gift to live during her reign. May her soul pass through the Western Door and find its true reward for a life of service and leadership. God Rest Elizabeth the Great.

A view of the papal visit, Part 1: old ladies vs…

Behind the grill, a K9 officer, evidently as done with the pointless tension of the whole thing as we were, suddenly fired a volley of loud barks at us. In perfect tandem, we turned and roared back ‘Ah, shut up!’

Hey. Why you going to see the Pope, if you got such a chip on your shoulder, eh? Because this chip on my shoulder has a name. Because of the damned. Because of the rammed. The raped. The beaten. The killed. The blamed for their savage natures, they all had names. Because I remain. Because…

The Wild Keeps Quiet

Ducks write lines in water beaver testify all along shores Lakes like fingertips pressed into the living world for memory beyond our grasp And we wonder what they talked about, our ancestors, if We share tales of them all through trails pockmarked by horses, deer, dogs humans at leisure on foot and bike On our…

Choral Collaboration News

In just over 2 years of collaboration, Mari Alice Conrad has composed a number of remarkable settings for various of my poems. Beyond delighted to announce that Journey Song has arrived for purchase on Cypress Choral Music. Meanwhile, in Toronto, Exultate Choir will feature the Stephen Chatman Award winning At First Light on May 23rd…

Book Club Reflection: the Power of RISE

It has been 16 months since Humane launched, and what an amazing ride it’s been. Any time I wonder about the usefulness of writing a novel, I get sent wonderful messages from various sources. Here’s one that cropped up today while I was researching language resources (specifically, recorded examples of how to pronounce ‘Maengan’ –…

Questions for Bestsellers

A friend and colleague sent me this tonight, news that Humane, in its second year now since release, is again (still) on the Alberta Bestsellers List. We’re not a huge market. But we’re my home market. And I’m thrilled that people continue to take Humane home and engage with it. I know that part of…

Reading the Writing World

I love my career as a writer. There is so much more to it than just sitting down somewhere and writing a poem, a story, a song. There’s a world of research behind the actual creative bits. Some of it is heavy, but a lot of it is joyous. Right now? I’m listening to some…

Journey Song Arrives!

After a pandemic-induced wait of about 16 months, it’s here! The World Premiere of composer Mari Alice Conrad’s SATB Choir setting of Journey Song, sung here in a live recording in Toronto by commissioning choir Babel, under the baton of Elaine Choi. I first published a version of Journey Song in my 2009 collection, Fifth…

Humane – Synopsis en Español

Quien mató a Nell August? ¿Por qué las autoridades no investigaron más? Hazel Lesage nunca hubiera esperado que investigar a las crímenes ‘impopulares’ por la gente ‘disponible’ de su ciudad seria su carera. Tiene su vida y no busca más problemas, especialmente con clientes cuya manera hace que Hazel recuerda los tantos momentos en que…

Reviews and Interviews: Humane

Coming up on the first anniversary of Humane’s debut, I’m thrilled anew by the warm reception this book has received in communities across Canada. Here are four of my favourite reviews and interviews: CBC Radio The Next Chapter With Shelagh Rogers April 16 Humane Selected for Alberta Reads I’m in Frankfurt this week, wobbling astonished…