New poem published in Word and Colour


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Image from Word and Colour website

My brand new poem “Tinaja“–inspired by the artwork of Sonia Alins Miguel–is now published in the fantastic online journal, Word and Colour. My thanks to editor Leah Mol for the opportunity to participate.

I’ve admired the journal for a long time because I love its mandate “to confront oppression or provide positive alternatives to stereotypes” and the way in which it features both literary and visual art. The journal curates pieces of visual art, which are selected and then sent to writers who respond to the visual art. The words–which may be prose or poetry–paired with the colours result in some startling, gorgeous, dark or light collaborations. I feel incredibly grateful to be a participant.

I was sent a beautiful painting/paper cut piece by the wonderful Spanish illustrator Sonia Alins Miguel from her Water Women series. “Tinaja” is the poem that I wrote in response. The painting is so rich, and world news is so overwhelmingly hard right now, that I felt pulled in many different directions when I sat down to write. In the end, I’m happy to be able to offer something that offers a bit of hope–to try, as the journal’s mandate suggests, “to alter the way we are socialized and celebrate the beauty of the world that is often missing.” There really is a lot of beauty in our flawed world.


Please go to the Word and Colour website to enjoy the entire archive of visual and literary art. To see Sonia Alins Miguel’s painting and to read my poem, please start here: “Tinaja” by Ruth Daniell.

Interview with 2016 NBOV Contest Winner Ruth Daniell on TNQ website


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img_7250The New Quarterly awarded me first prize in the 2016 Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest for my poem, “Wedding Anniversary,” which is published in Issue #140: In Appreciation of Our Spots. Now, a conversation I had with the wonderfully kind and intelligent Kim Jernigan of The New Quarterly is published on the magazine’s website: Memory, Desire, and the Aural Imagination.

I encourage you to read the entire interview; it’s some of the most fun I’ve ever had discussing the role of poetry in my life and talking through my writing process. It is so incredibly rewarding (and encouraging! and helpful!) to engage in conversations with other folk who are passionate about poetry. Kim was kind enough to engage me in questions about how oral performance and poetry intersect for me as a writer and an educator, and she also prompted a few admissions about my (nerdy) childhood, my writing process, the occasional poem, and my incurable romanticism.

My thanks to Kim Jernigan, Barb Carter, and everyone at The New Quarterly who have been so incredibly supportive of me and my work. My experience with the Occasional Verse contest has been an invaluable boost to my career right now and my confidence in my current project. Speaking of which–off I go!

New poem in issue seventeen of (parenthetical) magazine


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Image from the words(on)pages website

I’m pleased to pass on the news that my poem “Half-Shark” has found a home! This little weird poem is inspired by sibling love, My Little Pony, and the ’90s cartoon Street Sharks and its action figures. I’m really excited the poem has been included in issue seventeen of  (parenthetical), thanks to the amazing team at words(on)pages. Nicole Brewer and William Kemp are two of the most supportive, caring, hard-working folk with whom I have had the pleasure of working (you may remember they published my micro-fiction “Mermaid in the Seine” a couple years ago). I hope you will support them (and me) by buying a print copy of issue seventeen with my poetry and the work of many other fine writers. But because of the publishers’ generosity, you can also browse the entire issue online!

Looking back and looking forward


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2016 has been a pretty rough year for a lot of reasons and for a lot of people. It’s hard to stay hopeful and grateful when there is so much to be genuinely sorry about, but I am trying. I have a lot to be grateful about this past year. The publication of Boobs: Women Explore What it Means to Have Breasts with Caitlin Press, who have been incredibly supportive, and the amazing strength and intelligence of everyone who submitted writing and contributed to the conversation. The publication of Four Portraits (co-authored/illustrated with Laura Ritland) with the generous JackPine Press. The support of many literary journals, including The Antigonish Review, Event Magazine, and The New QuarterlyAll of the writers and readers and audience members of Swoon. The Canada Council for the Arts, for the grant that’s enabled me to spend my time looking at, thinking about, and writing poems about birds. The many conversations I’ve enjoyed with fellow artists and nature lovers about art and creativity and making the world a better place. My students. My colleagues. My friends. My family. I know a lot of fierce, wonderful, smart people who give the world more love and care and who give me hope that we can make a difference.

I’ll be posting more in the New Year about forthcoming publications and projects, but for now I’ll leave you with this photograph of the flock of American Goldfinches who have been hanging out in the park nearest my new home. Their plumages are not as vibrant as they are during the summer (mating) months, but to my eye (and mind and heart) they are still cheery and lovely.


Winning poem of the 2016 Occasional Verse Contest now published in The New Quarterly (Issue 140)


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Friends, I know we’re all feeling blue right now. But may I share something happy? My copies of The New Quarterly (issue 140) arrived. This issue contains my poem, “Wedding Anniversary,” which won their 2016 Occasional Verse Contest.  My thanks to Kim Jernigan and all the jurors of the contest. I’m so so grateful to have had the careful reading of such fine poetry lovers, and I hope this issue of the magazine finds it in the hands of many more poetry lovers.

LitFest Alberta 2016 in sunny (!) Edmonton in October 2016


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BOOBS_cover_alu_modalcoverI had a wonderful time in Edmonton for LitFest 2016! Not only was the weekend full of fantastic conversation about storytelling, Edmonton’s weather cooperated and it was clear and sunny and beautiful for my entire visit. I’m so grateful to LitFest and Caitlin Press for coordinating my attendance and the presentation of Boobs: Women Explore What it Means to Have BreastsIt’s such a pleasure to be able to be an active part of the discussion around the book and to see people breaking down the barriers to honest, open conversation around the realities of living in the body.

I had the pleasure of being a part of two panels. The first event, on Friday October 21, I had the opportunity to talk about what is “normal” with Betsy Warland, Camilla Gibb, and Ruby Remenda Swanson. We had a great turn out for the lunchtime event, and I’m so grateful for LitFest and the folk at CBC for hosting us! Obviously, pick up a copy of Boobs if you haven’t already, but also check out the other excellent books represented at the panel. Betsy Warland’s Oscar of Between: A Memoir of Identity and Ideas is a gorgeous, lyrical book about personhood and living in the world. Camilla Gibb’s This is Happy investigates family from the other side of “normal.” Ruby Remenda Swanson’s memoir, A Family Outingtells her story of mothering a gay son and the need for activism. All the writers challenged my heart and my mind and I’m grateful for my time with them.

On Saturday the 22, Betsy Warland and I partnered up again, this time to talk about body politics and the process of writing, editing, and structuring a book. We were lucky enough to have Ruby with us again, this time as our host.body-politics-litfest-panel-ruth-reading

My thanks to everyone who came out to the Saturday panel, too. It was a wonderful, warm audience who offered great questions and conversation on the books.

I had the chance to hang out and catch a couple of the other festival events, which were all excellent too. My congratulations to Fawnda Mithrush, Talia Davies,  and everyone at LitFest for putting together such an engaging, successful festival that brings writers and readers together. I hope to be back soon!


From left to right: Ruby Remenda Swanson, Besty Warland, and Ruth Daniell


Presenting Boobs anthology at 2016 LitFest Alberta in Edmonton Oct 21 & 22


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litfestSo! This is something I’ve been looking forward to awhile. I have the pleasure of being on two panels as part of ListFest Alberta near the end of October. I’ll be in conversation with some smart writers from across the country, discussing societal expectations, the writing and editing process, and what it means to live in the body. I’ll be there with Boobs: Women Explore What It Means to Have Breasts, but that’s not the only reason you should come. Lots of fantastic books and their writers and editors and publishers will be there. You can check out the full line-up of events on the LitFest website.

You can catch me at two panels:



Come and hang out with me, Edmonton! I’m excited!

Two Poems in Event Magazine Issue 45/2


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EVENT 45/2 is now out and the issue contains two of my poems. Check it out!

Waiting for Spring, or Something” is a poem about depressingly rainy winters, faith, doubt, teaching children, and the nature of happiness on earth. “Love and Paradise Lost” is about angels and sex. Both poems are from my working manuscript about fairy tales and the contemporary search for happily ever after. (If you’re keeping track, that’s a separate manuscript from the one about birds.)

The issue also has non-fiction by the wonderful Jane Campbell (who performed at Swoon once upon a time). I’ve also loved many of the other stuff I’ve read in the issue so far, so definitely pick up your copy and give it a read.

Speech Arts Adjudicator for the 2017 Penticton Kiwanis Music, Dance, & Speech Arts Festival


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penticton-festivalI’m pleased to pass on the news that I have agreed to be the adjudicator for all the speech arts and drama sessions of the 2017 Penticton Kiwanis Music, Dance, & Speech Arts Festival! The exact dates will be confirmed as we get closer to spring 2017, but you can find more information through the Festival’s website. It promises to be a fun festival.

After nearly five years of teaching at the Bolton Academy of Spoken Arts in Vancouver–and helping to run and adjudicate the school’s festivals and exams–I’m excited to get a glimpse into the growing speech arts community that’s here in the Okanagan!


2016 Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest


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I’m thrilled and humbled to pass on the news that the kind folk at The New Quarterly have announced me as the winner of their 2016 Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest. I have admired TNQ’s Occasional Verse contest for quite a few years and I’m incredibly excited to count myself among its winners. I love occasional verse of all types!

The poem chosen, “Wedding Anniversary,” is from my current working manuscript about birds, for which I am pleased to (belatedly) announce I was awarded a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts in support of its writing. If you were curious about what I’m going to be doing this fall, that’s your answer–writing poems about birds!