As a writer, I’ve always been drawn to opposites. I’m passionate about language — both written and spoken — and I love both the solitude of writing and the public nature of the spoken word. Writing is a contemplative act, a lifelong quest for clarity, beauty and wisdom. Reading and speaking for an audience is one of the joys of my life.
I love cities (I began life in New York City’s Bronx) but I’m also in love with nature and wildlife, which I first experienced when we moved to the suburbs. I ended up in Canada and became a hybrid: Canadian and American and not quite either. And having grown up surrounded by Italian-speaking relatives, I’m now a dual citizen in a bilingual country. Have I mastered French and Italian? Not yet! But they’re part of my lifelong infatuation with language.
I came to Canada to study at the University of Toronto, where I earned a BA and an MA in Political Science. Apart from curiosity about how the world worked, I had no idea what I was going to do with those degrees until I joined CBC Radio (Canada’s public broadcaster) as a broadcast journalist. While I had plenty to do as a local on-air personality, I began writing poetry at home and publishing in literary journals. My first two books were non-fiction; fiction followed. Poetry has only recently — and happily — returned to my life. So has study. In 2012, I completed a Diploma in Theological Studies from the University of St. Michael’s College, thinking that nothing suits a writer better than the study of naming the unnameable!
I’m the author of ten books, including four novels, a short story collection and three novellas — the award-winning A Gardener On The Moon as well as Midsummer and Here Comes the Dreamer. My third novel, All That Is Solid Melts Into Air was named by the Miramichi Reader as a “Very Best” book of 2017 and was awarded an Independent Publishers Gold Medal for Literary Fiction (2018). My latest novel is The Tender Birds. My first children’s book, Do I Have To Go To Sleep? will be published by Penumbra Press in 2020.
I’ve read my fiction at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre, at the Banff Centre for the Arts, at the University of Toronto, on radio and at numerous libraries and schools. I’ve also appeared on TV and have addressed university and high school audiences and citizens’ groups across Canada. I’ve twice served as a Writer-in-Residence in Ontario’s libraries and have taught Media Writing at Ryerson University in Toronto. Between 2009 and 2013, I hosted and produced Words To Go Podcast, a series of fifty shows promoting up-and-coming writers and the spoken word. They were downloaded over twenty thousand times in thirty-five countries.
I’m married to Brian Gibson, my friend, first reader