Beautiful Trouble essay featured in The Sun Magazine

The Sun Magazine recently reprinted several essays from Beautiful Trouble, including a short one I authored. You can check out the May 2014 issue, which also includes great fiction , non-fiction, interviews, and a transcript of Pete Seeger’s testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee by going here.

Cover: Issue 461

The Sun is an independent, ad-free monthly magazine that for nearly forty years has used words and photographs to invoke the splendor and heartache of being human. The Sun celebrates life, but not in a way that ignores its complexity. The personal essays, short stories, interviews, poetry, and photographs that appear in its pages explore the challenges we face and the moments when we rise to meet those challenges.

“Left & Leaving” – New Creative Non-Fiction in Ricepaper Magazine!

Ricepaper Magazine

A short memoir I wrote, longlisted this spring for the CBC Creative Non-Fiction Prize, can be found in the latest issue of Ricepaper Magazine, alongside exciting writing from the likes of Doretta Lau (shortlisted for the 2013 Journey Prize) and Madeleine Thien (author of Dogs At the Perimeter and Certainty).

“When I was young, we lived with my grandparents in Toronto. My parents slept in a windowless room in the basement, hidden behind the washer and dryer. My brother and I shared a bunk-bed, tucked into the bedroom on the second floor. There was a time, living there, when my dreams crept into the waking world.”

You can read the rest by finding a copy at your local independent bookstore, or by ordering one directly from Ricepaper:

#flashfiction: A short noir tale

I tried my hand at crime fiction and Shotgun Honey picked up this flash fiction story.

“Johnny wasn’t a deep thinker. But he burned hot; bright and reckless. He’d slam on the brakes going seventy, slide through a corner and scream my name so loud I could feel his voice ricochet around my ribs. The few nights he didn’t spend with me, he spent at the track, or in one of Callum’s card rooms. He was hooked on that moment before the clock started, or the cards were called.”

To read the rest:

Talking prose & politics with Shani Mootoo & Marcello Di Cintio

Recently, I interviewed Shani Mootoo (Giller-prize nominated author of Cereus Blooms at Night, Valmiki’s Daughter, and several other works) and Marcello Di Cintio (Shaughnessy Cohen Prize-winning author of Walls: Travels Along the Barricades and two other non-fiction books) for Briarpatch Magazine.

shani & marcello

“I’m fascinated by people’s stories. Being a writer is like having a backstage pass into the lives of interesting people. Meeting them and hearing those stories is the engine that runs my work,” said Di Cintio.

“I always feel that art in its many forms slices through ideology and approaches truth better than any argument, probably because, in the end, art tries to find the heart of the matter rather than the brain of it,” said Mootoo.

Read the rest of the interview here

Prairie fires and magnetic fields

I’ve got a short story in this fall’s online issue of the Maple Tree Literary Supplement:


“You can see the light of Calgary for an hour before you see a single street lamp, a glow of orange like a grass fire. I press my face against the passenger side window and look up at the sky. My wedding ring blinks with the light of each passing car, but in the sky, not a single star.

At home, we’ve got a gas station, two churches and three restaurants, including the diner, but our town doesn’t have a hospital. So we have to come up here, where The Machine runs from six in the morning to twelve at night.”

To read the rest of the story and see the full issue, visit:

Writings / Fiction: Yutaka Dirks

Enter Briarpatch Mag’s 3rd annual Creative Writing Contest!

For the 3rd year running, Briarpatch Magazine is looking for fiction and creative non-fiction that “brings to life issues of political, social, and environmental justice.”

It’s my second year coordinating the Writing in the Margins contest and I hope that I’ll get to read even more amazing stories than I did last year. The amazingly talented, Giller-Prize nominated Shani Mootoo (Cereus Blooms at Night, Valmiki’s Daughter) will judge short fiction entries, and Marcello Di Cintio – who won a ton of awards last year for Walls: Travels Along the Barricades, will judge creative non-fiction.

Check out our past winners and then write something yourself!