About me

  • Who am I?

    I am a first-generation Canadian living in Tkaronto. I hold an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and an HBA in Creative Writing and English from York University. My work has won awards and scholarships, both at UBC and at York, and appears in various literary magazines (see Stories). I am the founder/curator/host of Junction Reads, a prose reading series in the west end of the city. I am also facilitator/member of a writers’ workshop (on hiatus) and I continue to work on (yet) another novel project and the never-ending collection of short stories.

    Why do I write?

    We went to church every Sunday when I was little. It made Sundays the worst day of the week. Not because of God and all that, but because the getting to church, the being whipped into shape and the being dragged into the car was filled with an overwhelming amount of anxiety and fear.

    In church, I’d escape my little life and imagine other lives. I wrote fairy tales with characters inspired by the prayerful mob in the pews. I called the Monsignor, Monster and imagined hell-fire kinds of stories. Then when I was a middle-grader, a favourite priest married the woman who owned the store where I bought my candy because she was pregnant, and I knew, stories didn’t have to be fantastic to be, well, fantastic. I love real stories that are darkly funny and weird. I like stories that make me feel the torturous pain, carnal joy, overwhelming sadness, and the grimy, yucky suckiness of every day life.

    What do I read?

    On any given day, you can find me reading short stories. I read them in the New Yorker, or one of my favourite literary magazines (Room, The Puritan, Paris Review, Grain, Dreamers and so many others!), or in a collection by one of my favourite writers, George Saunders. I am also a huge fan of Chekhov, and some other Canadian short story writers: Elaine McCluskey, Cary Fagan, Alex Pugsley and Kim Fu.

    My longer fiction faves have no cohesive link because I am usually reading a memoir or novel from one of our Junction Reads authors, or I’ve picked through my Little Free Library, or I’ve grabbed a book from my local library’s favourites table. I like books with characters who are struggling to survive, not simply because they’ve got a serial killer on their tale, or because they’re stuck in a crappy relationship, but also because they can’t imagine how they might thrive beyond their situation, their trauma, their self-doubt etc..