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 is the award-winning author of nine novels, four books of poetry, and five works of creative non-fiction. Her work has been translated into many languages and published internationally. 

A former Kingston Poet Laureate, Helen has long been a leading light and generous mentor in the city’s vibrant writing community—and beyond. The list of accolades for her books is long, including awards from the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prize, the City of Toronto Book Award, the Lambda Prize for fiction, the Harbourfront Festival Prize for literary excellence; being shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, and longlisted for the Dublin Impac Award and the B.C. National Award for Non-Fiction. Several of her books, including the novel The Reinvention of Love and Coventrywere chosen as New York Times Editors’ Choice and a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year.  

She returns this year with And a Dog Called Fig, a memoir about the writing life told through the dog Helen has lived with and loved over a lifetime. The book is about companionship, loss, and creativity; a meditation on solitude and the connection with dogs.

Born in Kingston-on-Thames, England, Helen  lives in Kingston, Ontario.

Helen is supported by Author Patron Queens’ University Archives.

Appearing in:

9. The Writing Life


Past Festival Appearances

2020: 2. An Evening with Helen Humphreys, 20. Writing the Natural World
2018: Writing Point of ViewWomen’s Work: Fiction
2017: 13. Observations on Nature: Memoir, 22. Poetry Reading and Art Show Launch
2016: 24. The Garden and the River: Meditations on Landscape
2015: 13. Illuminated Manuscripts, and 48. Personal to Universal: Poetry