A Finalist…

Some Apastoral news arrived in the last few weeks, as I found out the book was one of three finalists for an NB Book Award. The winners will be announced on June 3 during a ceremony in Saint John. The full list of nominees in all categories is here.

Below, my sheep and its two shortlisted companions (The Summer the School Burned Down, Meghan Rose Allen, and A Bend in the Breeze, Valerie Sherrard).

A Book Abroad (novel out)

As always, I need to find time to update this blog with the greater ins and outs and ups and downs of my literary life, including words about recent grants for a to-be-written novel (thanks ARTSNB and Canada Council!), and progress with Galleon Books (titles on the way), but for now here’s a quick snippet, my publisher Rick Harsch with some extemporaneous musings on my recently published novel Apastoral: A Mistopia:

Interested in a copy of Apastoral? Try the Corona/Samizdat website, or send me a note. You won’t it on Amazon, or any-else-where.

“This is a novel that’s bleak and funny, down beat bit bumptious. You can see Lee inverting mores, ideas, professions, moods, logic, and the bestial nature of the human animals in ways that says this is all madness!” Jeff Bursey, from the Introduction.

“A stream-of-consciousness excursion into the animal mind of human suffering that chills to the bone even as it tickles the rib. Its unique brand of brutality reads with the haunting familiarity of a recurring nightmare.” Steven Mayoff, author

“The book reads with the zest of a Marx brothers caper, with all the layers of humor, the periodic moments of seemingly simple genius, a wealth of detail, and plenty of narrative shifts.” Rich Harsch, Publisher


Sept 8, 22

Story Publication

Very pleased to see my story “The Stranger at the Gate” online now at ancrages.ca. Well, not just the story – in English, French (translation by Herménégilde Chiasson) and Mi’kmaq (translation by Serena Sock) – but also the video of my reading at the Aberdeen Cultural Centre (which was a group performance), Plus, there’s artwork by Emma Hassencahl-Perley.

This was all done through the Ancrages project Faire Communauté (Creating Community), a province-wide tour in late 2017 by selected authors.

The story and the video are found linked under my bio here:

Other participants’ stories/essays/videos are here:



Two Recent Reviews

I’ve just had two reviews posted on the Atlantic Books Today website (following two longer reviews – of Kevin Major and Kerry-Lee Powell – in their recent print edition). A small caveat is that Atlantic Books Today is funded by publishers, but managing editor Chris Benjamin does want honest, well-written reviews, sees the value in that.

I hosted André Narbonne in October at the Attic Owl Reading Series, was impressed and later begged off attempting a review of another story collection (quite poorly written) and requested permission to send a review of Narbonne’s collection Twelve Miles to Midnight. It’s a great story collection. The review is here.

And some time this summer I was sent the PDF of David Doucette’s A Hard Old Love Amongst Scavengers, and promptly forgot about it. I spend all day at the PC or laptop editing writers’ words, don’t want to read more fiction on the screen. Anyway, when asked about the review’s status I said right, right, is there a hard copy? One was sent. One day I’ll make a list of my favourite Atlantic Canadian Fiction. It’ll have Doucette’s novel near the top*. What a welcome surprise. That review is here.

*Along with Steffler’s The Grey Islands (fiction? poetry?), Powell’s Willem De Kooning’s Paintbrush, Bursey’s Verbatim: A Novel, Gunn’s Amphibian, Butler Hallett’s Deluded Your Sailors, and work by Mark Anthony Jarman, Ian Colford, Narbonne, Coady…. Maybe that’s the next blog post.

It’s here!

The books have arrived and are lovingly designed by Caryl Wyse Peters with a haunting Dave Skyrie cover. The story is as slant as anything I’ve written: Lester, the narrator, isn’t to be trusted. And that’s the thing about these Shabazz stories – the central characters aren’t well. It’s also the challenge – how to depict a mind in chaos, unhinged, yet make it believable.

So far four of the these stories have been written, with the fifth just underway.

Anyway. There are two ways to get copies before they’re all gone (125 were printed) – through me, or through the publisher.


Full Cover for Frog Hollow Chapbook

Publication date for “Mouth Human Must Die” is likely around mid January, which means in fewer than two months the story will have gone from accepted to published. It’s been proofed, approved, and only the printing remains. I can’t stress … Continue reading