Figs September 26

The Long Journey of Nathan Phelps

On the stroke of midnight on his 18th birthday, Nathan Phelps left the abuse and tyranny of his father’s Westboro Baptist Church. Phelps’ journey from the WBC’s venomous preaching eventually led him away from God altogether. Now Phelps is an avowed and vocal atheist, and an advocate for gay rights. He is also a Calgarian. […]

IWR_logo September 02

Iceland II: The Hanging Out with Writers Edition

Looks like I’ll be returning to Iceland, erupting volcanoes notwithstanding. Next spring, I will be a featured instructor at the Iceland Writers Retreat. I’ll join an international handful of writers – including Barbara Kingslover, Adam Gopnik, Ruth Reichl and fellow Canadians John Valiant and Alison Pick – in Reykjavic for a four-day program of workshops […]

10154252 August 29

Optical Illusionists

My story about artificial eyes and the men and women who craft then appears in the current issue of Swerve Magazine. I can’t remember a magazine story I enjoyed researching as much as this one. I never would’ve guessed that the making of artificial eyes, or ‘ocularistry’, had such a fascinating history or that it […]

OBOC_top_header_thin August 26

One Book, One Calgary

I am pleased, and surprised, to announce that the Calgary Public Library has chosen Walls: Travels Along the Barricades as their 2014 ‘One Book, One Calgary’ selection. According to the OBOC website, the program is “designed to ignite community dialogue and enrich community connections through a shared reading experience.” I’m pretty sure this means that […]

Assunta alone August 24

An Elegy to St. Andrew’s

While it has been several decades since I believed in the religion practiced within its walls, I couldn’t help but feel sad when I heard that Calgary’s former Italian church was up for sale. I wrote a short piece about the old church, and my family’s relationship to it, that appears in Swerve Magazine. The story […]

“Gaza,” by Hala Alyan

A couple of years ago I had the great pleasure and honour of reading with Hala Alyan at an event in Ramallah. As a three-day truce between the IDF and Hamas is holding, and as Israeli ground forces leave the Strip, I hope – beyond all reason – that Hala’s words are the last I […]

KORITZA STENI.indd June 09

Attention Bulgarians!

I knew something was up when Bulgarian reviews of Walls started appearing on my Goodreads page. Sure enough, the Bulgarian translation has been released. This is the first time one of my books has been translated and I’m enjoying the novelty of not being able to read my own work. As it turns out, Bulgaria […]

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