Nancy Jo Cullen is an award-winning novelist and poet. She is the recipient of the Writers’ Trust Dayne Ogilvie Prize for Emerging Gay Writer, and winner of the Metcalf-Rooke Award, and the Alberta Publishers Trade Book. She has been nominated or shortlisted for several awards, including the W.O. Mitchell Calgary Book Prize, the Canadian League of Poets Gerald Lampert Award, and the Journey Prize twice.

Her new novel, The Western Alienation Merit Badge, is set during the early 80’s recession in Calgary. It focuses on Frankie as she returns from overseas to help her father and sister as they struggle with grief and impending financial ruin. Author Casey Plett describes the book as the “queer prairie novel of my dreams—electric, funny, hot, heartbreaking, scathing… [it] flashes effortlessly back and forth between four decades of sisterhood, poverty, estrangement, grief, queerness and, well, alienation.” In his review, author Brian Francis says, “I loved many things about this book… but I loved Nancy’s writing most of all. She has a gift of capturing the smallest moments of our lives and turning them into brilliant gems.”

A transplanted westerner, she now lives in Kingston, ON.

Appearing in: 37. Literary pub (s)crawl