Exploring the landscapes of death and grief, this collection takes the reader through a series of essays, drawn together from twenty-four Canadian writers that reach across different ages, ethnicities and gender identities as they share their thoughts, struggles and journeys relating to death. Be it the meditation on the loss of a beloved dog who once solaced a departed parent, the tragic suicide of a stranger or the deep pain of losing a brother, Locations of Grief is defined by its range of essays exploring all the facets of mourning, and how the places in our lives can be irreversibly changed by the lingering presence of death.
About the authors
Catherine Owen lives in New Westminster, BC. She is the author of ten collections of poetry, among them Designated Mourner (ECW, 2014), Trobairitz (Anvil Press 2012), Seeing Lessons (Wolsak & Wynn 2010) and Frenzy (Anvil Press 2009). Her poems are included in several recent anthologies such as Forcefield: 77 Women Poets of BC (Mothertongue Press, 2013) and This Place a Stranger: Canadian Women Travelling Alone (Caitlin Press, 2014). Stories have appeared in Urban Graffiti, Memwear Magazine, Lit N Image (US) and Toronto Quarterly. Her collection of memoirs and essays is called Catalysts: Confrontations with the Muse (W & W, 2012). Frenzy won the Alberta Book Prize and other collections have been nominated for the BC Book Prize, ReLit, the CBC Prize, and the George Ryga Award. In 2015, Wolsak & Wynn published her compendium on the practices of writing called The Other 23 and a Half Hours or Everything You Wanted to Know That Your MFA Didn’t Teach You. She works in TV, plays metal bass and blogs at Marrow Reviews.
Alice Major emigrated from Scotland at the age of eight, and grew up in Toronto before coming west to work as a weekly newspaper reporter. She served as the City of Edmonton’s first poet laureate from 2005–2007. Among her previous books are Memory's Daughter, for which she won the Stephan G. Stephansson Award in 2011; The Occupied World; and The Office Tower Tales, for which she won the Pat Lowther Award in 2009. In 2010, she received a lifetime achievement award, presented by the City of Edmonton and the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton.
Born in England, Katherine Bitney grew up in Saskatchewan and has spent most of her life on the prairies. A founding member of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild and Prairie Fire magazine (formerly Writers News Manitoba) Katherine has authored three previous collections of poetry. Recently she has collaborated with composer Sid Robinovitch and soundscapist Ken Gregory on the Boreality Project to create sacred music for the Boreal Forest. She lives and writes in Winnipeg.
Alice Burdick lives in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. She is co-owner of Lexicon Books in Lunenburg, and serves on the board of the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia. In the early 1990s, she was co-editor of The Eternal Network, and assistant coordinator of the Toronto Small Press Fair. She is the author of many chapbooks and three full-length poetry collections: Simple Master (Pedlar Press, 2002); Flutter (Mans?eld Press, 2008); and Holler (Mansfield Press, 2012). Her work has appeared in many magazines, online and in print, and was shortlisted for the First Lemonhound Poetry Prize. Her poetry has been included in several anthologies, including Surreal Estate: 13 Canadian Poets Under the In?uence (The Mercury Press), Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry (The Mercury Press), Pissing Ice: An Anthology of New Canadian Poets (BookThug), To Find Us: words and images of Halifax (HRMP), and the forthcoming The Child Alone Anthology (Frog Hollow Press).
Jenna Butler is the author of three critically acclaimed books of poetry, Seldom Seen Road (NeWest Press, 2013), Wells (University of Alberta Press, 2012) and Aphelion (NeWest Press, 2010); an award-winning collection of ecological essays, A Profession of Hope: Farming on the Edge the of Grizzly Trail (Wolsak and Wynn, 2015); and a poetic travelogue, Magnetic North: Sea Voyage to Svalbard (University of Alberta Press, 2018).
Butler's research into endangered environments has taken her from America's Deep South to Ireland's Ring of Kerry, and from volcanic Tenerife to the Arctic Circle onboard an ice-class masted sailing vessel, exploring the ways in which we impact the landscapes we call home. A professor of creative writing and environmental writing at Red Deer College, she lives with seven resident moose and a den of coyotes on an off-grid organic farm in Alberta's North Country.
Marilyn Dumont is the author of four collections of poems: A Really Good Brown Girl (winner of the 1997 Gerald Lampert Award), green girl dreams Mountains (winner of the Writer’s Guild of Alberta’s 2001 Stephan G. Stephansson Award), That Tongued Belonging (winner of the 2007 McNally Robinson Aboriginal Poetry Book of the Year and Aboriginal Book of the Year Award) and The Pemmican Eaters (published in 2015 by ECW Press). Marilyn has been Writer-in-Residence at the Edmonton Public Library and in numerous universities across Canada. In addition, she has been faculty at the Banff Centre for the Arts’ Writing with Style and Wired Writing programs, as well as an advisor and mentor in their Indigenous Writers’ Program. She serves as a board member on The Public Lending Rights Commission of Canada, and freelances for a living.
Ben Gallagher is a poet, essayist and new father, currently in the middle of a PhD at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, researching non-linear pedagogy and poetic practices in community poetry workshops. Recent poems can be found in untethered, Sewer Lid, The Puritan, (parenthetical) and Arc. He lives in Lunenburg, NS.
Catherine Graham is a poet, novelist and creative writing instructor. She is the author of six acclaimed poetry collections, including The Celery Forest, a CBC Best Book of the Year and finalist for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry. Her Red Hair Rises with the Wings of Insects was a finalist for the Raymond Souster Award and CAA Poetry Award and her debut novel, Quarry, was a finalist for the Sarton Women’s Book Award for Contemporary Fiction and Fred Kerner Book Award and won the Miramichi Reader’s “The Very Best!” Book Award and an Independent Publisher Book Awards’ gold medal for Fiction. She holds an MA in creative writing from Lancaster University (UK). Her poems have been translated into Greek, Serbo-Croatian, Bangla, Chinese and Spanish and have appeared in The Malahat Review, Arc Poetry Magazine, Glasgow Review of Books, Exile Quarterly, The Fiddlehead, Poetry Daily, Poetry Ireland, Gutter Magazine and have been broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster, anthologized in The White Page / An Bhileag Bhan: Twentieth Century Irish Women Poets and The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, Vol IV & V. A finalist for the Montreal International Poetry Prize, she has won the Arc Award of Awesomeness and her poems have been nominated for the 2020 National Magazine Award by Exile Magazine. She teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto where she won an Excellence in Teaching Award. A previous winner of the Toronto International Festival of Authors’ Poetry NOW, she leads their monthly book club and is also an interviewer for By the Lake Book Club.
Catherine Greenwood has lived and worked in British Columbia, New Brunswick, China and southeast England. Previous job titles include publications analyst, foreign expert, financial aid adjudicator and pet sitter. She has published two collections of poetry, The Pearl King and Other Poems and The Lost Letters. Her writing has appeared in many literary journals and anthologies, and has been recognized with several prizes, including a National Magazine Gold Award. She now lives in South Yorkshire where, as a PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield, she is pursuing an interest in Scottish Gothic poetry.
Jane Eaton Hamilton is the queer, non-binary, disabled author of nine books of creative non-fiction, memoir, fiction and poetry, including the 2016 novel Weekend, and two prior collections of short fiction. Their memoir was one of the UK Guardian’s Best Books of the Year and a Sunday Times bestseller. They are the two-time winner of Canada’s CBC Literary Award for fiction (2003/2014). They have had a Notable in BASS and three in BAE (2016/2018/2019) and have appeared in The Journey Prize, Best Canadian Short Stories and Best Canadian Poetry. They live near Vancouver, BC.
Lee Easton and Richard Harrison are writers living in Calgary. They both work for Mount Royal College. Easton is a specialist in literature dealing with such subject areas of gender, media, literary theory, multi media and film. Harrison — nominated for the Governor General’s Award in 1999 — is the author of six books of poetry. He has also worked as an editor on more than 20 books.
David Haskins wanted to write ever since Enid Blyton sent him a handwritten postcard when he was seven. He also wanted to become a veterinary surgeon. He settled for mentorships under CanLit’s A-listers Joe Rosenblatt, Austin Clarke, Matt Cohen, John Herbert, P.K. Page and others, and a career teaching English to high schoolers. His poetry books, Reclamation (Borealis, 1980) and Blood Rises (Guernica, 2020), and his literary memoir This House is Condemned (Wolsak and Wynn, 2013) top a long list of published works that have won first place awards from the CBC, the Ontario Poetry Society, the Canadian Authors Association, gritLIT and Arts Hamilton. He continues to live in the family home in Grimsby, Ontario.
Theresa Kishkan came to national attention in 2000, with her first full-length novel, Sisters of Grass. A true "writer's writer," she has been steadfastly championed by her peers as a writer against whom others measure their own work, and she has fostered the careers of many other writers while refining her own craft. A popular reader in British Columbia, Washington, and other parts of western Canada and the US, she is an enthusiastic organizer of and participant in regional literary events, and she has twice won Province of British Columbia Cultural Services awards. Kishkan's poetry and essays have appeared in periodicals including Brick, Canadian Forum, The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, Matrix, The Vancouver Sun, and Manoa (Hawaii) and in five book-length collections including the highly praised Black Cup and Morning Glory, which won the 1992 bp Nichol Chapbook Prize. She has also published a collection of essays on place and history, entitled Red Laredo Boots (New Star, 1996), which Susan Musgrave selected as one of her favourite books of the decade in BC Bookworld. Inishbream is based on a year the author spent on such an island in the 1970s. Today, she lives on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia with her husband, the poet John Pass.
Christine Lowther has been a lifelong activist and a resident of Clayoquot Sound since 1992. She is the co-editor of two collections of essays, Living Artfully: Reflections from the Far West Coast (The Key Publishing House, 2012) and Writing the West Coast: In Love with Place (Ronsdale Press, 2008), and the author of three books of poetry, My Nature (Leaf Press, 2010), Half-Blood Poems (Zossima Press, 2011) and New Power (Broken Jaw Press, 1999). Most recently, several of her poems appear in Force Field: 77 Women Poets of British Columbia (Mother Tongue, 2013).
Canisia Lubrin was born in St. Lucia. She has had work published in literary journals including Room, The Puritan, This Magazine, Arc, CV2 and The City Series #3: Toronto Anthology. She has been an arts administrator and community advocate for close to two decades. Lubrin has contributed to the podcast On The Line, hosted by Kate Sutherland for The Rusty Toque. She studied at York University where she won the President's Prize in poetry and the Sylvia Ellen Hirsch Memorial Award in creative writing. Lubrin holds an MFA from the University of Guelph and teaches at Humber College. She lives in Whitby, Ontario.
James Picard has exhibited extensively in close to two hundred art exhibitions throughout North America and Europe, and next to world-renowned art legends such as Picasso, Matisse, Miró, and Warhol. He has also taught at several universities and has released three books on his art. He was the first artist to exhibit his paintings at the historical Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco, part of his The Dark & The Wounded painting series and world art tour, which he filmed and turned into a documentary film that won awards across the North American film festival circuit in 2017/18, culminating in a screening in May 2018 at the 71st Cannes International Film Festival in France. He currently resides in California.
NIKKI REIMER (she/her/they/them) is a multimedia artist and writer and chronically ill neurodivergent prairie settler currently living in Mohkinstsis/Calgary. She has been involved with arts and writing communities, primarily in Calgary and Vancouver, for over 20 years. They are the author of four books of poetry and multiple essays on grief. GRIEFWAVE.com, a multimedia, web-based, extended elegy, was launched in February 2022. Frequent themes Reimer explores through their work include feminism, the body, the Anthropocene, late capitalism, death, grief, loss, and animal subjectivity.Though their practice began in the literary arts, Reimer's artistic work has taken turns into multiple forms of interdisciplinary artmaking, including visual art and video, installation work, and performance practice. "Trigger Warning," a play commissioned by Swallow A Bicycle Theatre Company for their ten year anniversary retrospective, explores how gossip and the whisper network can both combat and reify rape culture within Canadian cultural circles. Reimer's work has been extensively reviewed, often noting their embrace of dark humour and feminist refusal. Visit reimerwrites.com.
Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist from Wasauksing First Nation on Georgian Bay. He has written three fiction titles, and his short stories and essays have been published in numerous anthologies. His most recent novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was published in 2018 and became a national bestseller. He graduated from Ryerson University’s journalism program in 2002 and spent the bulk of his journalism career at CBC, most recently as host of Up North, the afternoon radio program for northern Ontario. He lives in Sudbury with his wife and two sons.
Lisa Richter is the author of a book of poetry, Closer to Where We Began (Tightrope Books, 2017). Her work has previously appeared in The New Quarterly, CV2, The Puritan, The Malahat Review, Literary Review of Canada and the anthology Jack Layton: Art in Action (Quattro Books, 2013). Her next collection of poems, Nautilus and Bone, is forthcoming with Frontenac House in fall 2020. She lives in Toronto.
Lynn Tait is a Toronto-born poet/photographer. Her poems have appeared in various literary journals including Vallum, FreeFall, and in over one hundred anthologies. She’s also published a chapbook and co-authored a book with four other poets. She currently resides in Sarnia, Ontario.
Sharon Thesen was born in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, in 1946. She moved to the British Columbia Interior in 1952 and lived in Prince George and Kamloops before settling in Vancouver in 1966. She is the author of several books of poetry and the former editor of the Capilano Review. She currently teaches English at Capilano College in North Vancouver and writes reviews for the Vancouver Sun.
Sharon Thesen is a poet, editor, and writer who was based in Vancouver, BC, before coming to UBC Okanagan in 2005. She is the author of eight books of poetry, the most recent The Good Bacteria (House of Anansi). Her books include a selected poems, News & Smoke, and several titles from the 1980s and '90s from Coach House Press in Toronto.
Sharon has been involved in the Canadian and Vancouver poetry scene for many years. As an editor, she has published two editions of The New Long Poem Anthology, a Governor-General’s Award-winning edition of Phyllis Webb’s poetry (The Vision Tree), and, from 2001 to 2005, the literary and visual arts magazine The Capilano Review. She co-edited, with Ralph Maud, a correspondence between the poet Charles Olson and book designer Frances Boldereff (Charles Olson and Frances Boldereff: A Modern Corresepondence, Wesleyan University Press).
Sharon co-edits, with Nancy Holmes, Lake: a journal of arts and environment, which is housed in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at UBC Okanagan, and continues to be a contributing editor of The Capilano Review.
Her book A Pair of Scissors won the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and The Good Bacteria was a finalist for the Governor-General’s Award, the ReLit Award and the Dorothy Livesay Prize. Two earlier books also were finalists for the Governor-General’s Award, and in 2002 Sharon was a member of the jury, along with American poet Sharon Olds and Irish poet Michael Longley, for the prestigious Griffin Prize for Excellence in Poetry.
In addition to teaching literature and creative writing at Capilano College, Sharon has taught poetry workshops at a number of summer writing colonies, including the Banff Writing Studio, Echo Valley and St. Peter’s College, and for many years has informally mentored younger poets and writers. She has given readings at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto, the Blue Metropolis Writers’ Festival in Montreal and the New Zealand Writers’ Festival in Wellington, NZ.
Sharon’s research interests are modern, postmodern, and contemporary poetry and poetics, lyric essay and philosophical autobiography, the relationship between poetic imagination and “the real,” and the Canadian long poem. She is also interested in the aesthetics of theological and mystical writings by women, as well as the relationship between psychology and ecology, and eco-poetics. She is married, with one son and one stepson. She lives in Lake Country, BC.
Onjana Yawnghwe was born in Thailand but is a part of the Shan people from Burma (Myanmar). She grew up in Vancouver and received a MA in English from UBC. Her poems have been featured in numerous anthologies and journals, including The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2011, 4 Poets, CV2, Room, and The New Quarterly. She was also awarded the Vancouver Mayor's Arts Award for Emerging Literary Artist in 2012. She was a co-founder of Fish Magic, a micro press specializing in limited-run, hand-made chapbooks and was co-editor of Xerography, a little literary journal. Onjana currently works as a nurse in mental health and has completed a book-length biography-in-poems about Buster Keaton. More of her projects can be found at www.onjana.com.
Daniel Zomparelli is editor-in-chief of Poetry Is Dead magazine and recipient of the 2011 Pandora’s Collective Publishers of Magazines Award. The fourth issue of Poetry Is Dead, “Vancouver: Influence,” was a key feature at the Vancouver 125 Poetry Conference in 2011. Zomparelli is also program coordinator for the Megaphone magazine Community Creative Writing Program, which offers free creative writing classes for low-income and homeless people. He writes for and works with several magazines across Vancouver, including Geist, Megaphone, Sad Mag, Granville Online and, formerly, Adbusters. Davie Street Translations is Zomparelli’s first book of poems.
Other titles by Catherine Owen
Other titles by Alice Major
Other titles by Katherine Bitney
Other titles by Alice Burdick
Other titles by Marilyn Dumont
Other titles by Ben Gallagher
Other titles by Catherine Greenwood
Other titles by Jane Eaton Hamilton
Other titles by Richard Harrison
Other titles by David Haskins
Other titles by Steven Heighton
The Future Of Energy
Poèmes de hockey inédits et revisités
An Anthology of Essays
On Not Losing My Father's Ashes in the Flood
Secret Identity Reader
Essays on Sex, Death and the Superhero
Now is the Winter
Thinking about Hockey
Worthy of His Fall
Hero of the Play
10th Anniversary Edition
Big Breath of a Wish
Other titles by Theresa Kishkan
Other titles by Christine Lowther
Instructions for the Drowning
Selected Poems 1983–2020
The Virtues of Disillusionment
The Stray and the Strangers
Among the Volunteers and Refugees on Lesvos
Celebrating 100 Years of Al Purdy
The Nightingale Won't Let You Sleep
The Waking Comes Late
The Waking Comes Late special hardcover edition