Better Food for a Better World by Erin McGraw

How do you change the world for the better? In Erin McGraw's latest novel, Better Food for a Better World, three offbeat young couples believe the answer lies in ice cream—at least in part. These ice cream shop co-owners also put great stock in vocational gifts and artful entertainment, from classical concerts to circus contortionist acts.… Continue reading Better Food for a Better World by Erin McGraw


Patrick Lane and Finding a Place for Beauty

For years now, Canadian author Patrick Lane--a poet, novelist, and memoirist--has been one of my favourite writers. I first discovered him in university, when he visited to give a reading. I also had the pleasure of hearing him and his wife, Lorna Crozier, read in Hamilton at a LitLive event a couple of years ago. (You can read… Continue reading Patrick Lane and Finding a Place for Beauty


A Blessed Time

"I could have married again while I was still young. A congregation likes to have a married minister, and I was introduced to every niece and sister-in-law in a hundred miles. In retrospect, I'm very grateful for whatever reluctance it was that kept me alone until your mother came. Now that I look back, it… Continue reading A Blessed Time


The matchless Mary Oliver

Still need a gift for a poetry lover on your Christmas list? Here's my recommendation, via The Banner: For almost 50 years, American poet Mary Oliver has been celebrated for her graceful inquisitions into the rhythms of the natural world. Her latest collection, A Thousand Mornings, continues in this same tradition, inviting readers to explore the creatures and… Continue reading The matchless Mary Oliver


The Gift of Retreat

Okay, I know—it's too soon to be talking Christmas. But The Banner recently asked me to write about a gift well worth planning early. So I figure that the sooner I share the piece, the better: "There aren’t enough hours in a day.” Many of us utter this cliché in states of exhaustion, stress, or… Continue reading The Gift of Retreat


So We Attend, So We Wait

"Faith is not much different from work or love, from which life also grants us no rest. Sometimes, we look up from that work, pausing to catch our breath in this labor which we can never see compete and which we therefore perdure in by faith, posing love and being against death and nothingness, and… Continue reading So We Attend, So We Wait

Book reviews, Uncategorized

John Terpstra pays tribute to urban trees

Not only is John Terpstra one of my favourite poets, he is also a fellow Hamiltonian--and it is a joy to have him as part of our local literary scene. Over at the Hamilton Arts Council blog I reviewed his recently republished book Naked Trees. Here's a little from that post: Renowned Hamilton Poet Pays… Continue reading John Terpstra pays tribute to urban trees