Welcome to the website of Mark Abley, a writer and editor living in Montreal. Mark is a non-fiction writer, a poet, a recovering journalist and an award-winning author; he has won both a Rhodes Scholarship and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
In 2019 his memoir The Organist: Fugues, Fatherhood, and a Fragile Mind was published by University of Regina Press. Ian McGillis, writing in the Montreal Gazette, described it as “a master class in the delicate art of writing about family — raw and unsparing, yet sympathetic and compassionate.”
Mark’s latest book on language is Watch Your Tongue: What Our Everyday Sayings and Idioms Figuratively Mean. It was published by Simon & Schuster Canada in 2018 and quickly became an Amazon bestseller. More information about both books can be found elsewhere on this site.
His earlier non-fiction books include the highly acclaimed and widely translated Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages (2003) and The Prodigal Tongue: Dispatches From the Future of English (2008). His influential book on Indigenous and Canadian history, Conversations With a Dead Man: The Legacy of Duncan Campbell Scott, appeared in 2013.
Mark’s latest book of poems is The Tongues of Earth: New and Selected Poems (2015). This was his fourth collection of poetry, his largest, and his first in a decade.
Mark Abley writes:
“Thank you for visiting this site. You’ll find a lot of information here about my work, and a little about my life. Writing is a solitary profession, but one of its pleasures is the contact it creates among people of many ages and in many countries. If you’d like to get in touch with me, please visit the Contact page. I would be happy to hear from you.”