The best writing advice Helen Humphreys ever received applies equally to life, she says. “Simply pay attention to where you are—emotionally and physically—and work from there.”

Helen’s latest novel, Rabbit Foot Bill, set in 1947 Saskatchewan, centers on a young boy as he seeks family in an outsider, Bill, and witnesses a violent murder. The book is “A finely rendered story about people trying to find inner peace after their worlds have been turned upside down. Both shocking and tender, Rabbit Foot Bill is a riveting tale, full of compassion and told without judgment,” says author Dianne Warren. The Toronto Star writes: “One of the best — and most wonderfully experimental — historical fiction titles of the year … Humphreys is an extraordinary writer. Truly spectacular.”

Helen’s lucid, lyrical prose harks back to her beginnings as a poet. Of 1998’s Leaving EarthThe New York Times wrote: “Helen Humphreys delivers her perfect game.” She was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award and won the CAA Award for Poetry for Anthem. A former Kingston Poet Laureate, Helen has long been a leading light and generous mentor in the city’s vibrant writing community—and beyond.

Helen has a long list of accolades for her 19 books. Her memoir Nocturne: On the Life and Death of My Brother was nominated for the Trillium Book Award; her novel The Reinvention of Love was a national bestseller; and Coventry was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year. She also received the Harbourfront Festival Prize for literary excellence in 2009.

Born in Kingston-on-Thames, England, Helen has lives in Kingston, Ontario, and has a riverside country property near Bellrock.

Author patron: Altair Electronics


Appearing in: 2. An Evening with Helen Humphreys, 20. Writing the Natural World