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, The Evening Chorus, traces a search for beauty, meaning and love that begins in a German prisoner of war camp during World War II. The book “cements her unofficial title as Canadian Author Most Likely To Move You To Tears,” said CBC’s Canada Reads.

“Characteristic eloquence,” wrote the National Post. “Absorbing, richly characterized, and marked by smart, delightful twists and turns, the novel’s fruitful visitation of war and its aftermath never fails to captivate.”

This October, readers can look forward to Helen’s second book of 2015, The River. Through seasons and years, she catalogues the river’s ebb and flow, the plants and creatures that live in and round it, the signs of human usage. A work of startling originality, The River is a moving meditation that combines fiction, non-fiction, natural history, archival maps and images, and stunning full-colour photographs. It is sure to become a new Canadian classic.

Helen’s lucid, lyrical prose harks back to her beginnings as a poet. Of 1998’s Leaving Earth, The 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. Recently named Kingston’s poet laureate for a four-year term, 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 13 books. Most recently, 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 lived in Kingston for 18 years, and has a riverside country property near Bellrock.

Appearing in 13. Illuminated Manuscripts, and 48. Personal to Universal: Poetry

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