Delighted, dazed and amazed

My second poetry collection has been accepted by Turnstone Press and is due to be published in spring 2017. I'm over the moon and especially delighted to be with Turnstone, a fabulous press I've long admired from afar. (Literally – they're in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and I'm all the way away in Whitehorse, Yukon.)

The poems in the collection emerged out of a nostalgia for all the places I've ever lived and my slow evolution into a Canadian immigrant fulfilling a dream to go north. Other characters enter these places, including a family shattered by a phone call, a woman who wants to slough off her body and a monk who becomes a hermit.


The Birthday Books is full of northern stories

Author Joanna Lilley
My short story collection, The Birthday Books, was published by Hagios Press in 2015 in their Strike Fire New Author Series. It's full of stories about northern places - Yukon, Nunavut, Alaska, Scotland and Greenland. If you live in Whitehorse, Yukon, you can buy it at Mac's Fireweed Books and at Coles. It's online too.

The wonderful painting on the cover, called Shelley, is by the Alberta-born artist John Brocke who sadly died in 2009. The painting hangs in the Foothills hospital in Calgary.

Here's what's being said about The Birthday Books:

"Joanna Lilley’s stories shoot for the Pole; they are in love with the north. They do just what short stories must do: introduce people we want to know, places we can hardly imagine, all in language as precise, as rich as poetry, clear as deep northern lakes. Lilley writes with great heart. Each story has a spirit. Each story stretches its arms to the broad northern sky."

– Arleen ParĂ©, novelist, poet and winner of the 2014 Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry

"In her debut collection, Joanna Lilley empathetically enters lives as different as those of an Inuit sculptor, a middle-aged Scottish sheep farmer, and a trapeze artist who wants to run away from the circus. Her empathy extends to animals, plants, and the natural world, and her rural and wilderness settings captivate. Lilley also offers readers a fresh UK perspective on the Canadian landscape in clean uncluttered prose—a winter lake is “glutinous”—that is leavened with dry wit."

– Patricia Robertson
The Goldfish Dancer: Stories and Novella