20 November 2022

Thanks to the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild and to all the participants in the SWG’s Fall Retreat at St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster. It was a pleasure for me to lead the workshop, and a pleasure also to discover the beautiful abbey, college, and songbird-filled grounds.

9 November 2022

I was deeply honoured and humbled today to receive an honorary doctorate of letters from the University of Saskatchewan.

17 October 2022

In the first review of Strange Bewildering Time, the journal Publishers Weekly praises the book as a “poetic memoir” and concludes: “With vivid descriptions (on riding a bus to reach Kashmir Valley: “The air smelled delicious: mingled scents of cedars, pines, and alpine flowers in the precipitous green meadows”) and frank reflections (“Privilege allowed us to ignore the daily lives of the local people we noticed along the way”), Abley gracefully captures a sense of his youthful innocence. Readers will marvel at this nostalgic travelogue.” (Would it be ungracious of me to quibble at the word “nostalgic”? Yes, it would.)

8 August 2022

My essay on Duncan Campbell Scott, Stephen Leacock, and other ‘hard-to-read’ figures from the literary past has appeared in the September issue of The Walrus.

13 July 2022

Strange Bewildering Time is now ready for the printer. It can be pre-ordered at your local independent bookstore, on the Indigo website, or (if necessary) via Amazon. Here is a link to the Indigo page:

19 March 2022

Less than a year from now, my next book should be available from House of Anansi Press. Its title is Strange Bewildering Time: Istanbul to Kathmandu in the Last Year of the Hippie Trail. I’ll be saying more about it on this site in the months to come, but if you’d like an advance look, go to:

7 November 2021

My article on the new Field Notes series of Biblioasis Press will be appearing in the December issue of The Walrus. 

4 October 2021

The poetry reading I gave the other day can be found at

29 September 2021

On Saturday, Oct. 2 at 4 pm, Virginia Konchan and I will be giving a (virtual) poetry reading for the Stanstead Arts Centre. Many thanks to Gabriel Safdie and to the host of the event, Shelley Pomerance.

19 August 2021

The American website asked me to choose five favourite books about language. Look for my choices, and my enthusiastic explanations, at:

4 June 2021

A recent experience of serving on an arts council jury has brought home to me again the precarious conditions under which many authors write. A few thousand dollars means the world to many writers: it gives them the temporary ability to spend time on the work they yearn to do. Most readers would be astonished to know how little writers tend to earn from their work.

3 January 2021

Like many friends and acquaintances this week, I’m mourning the death of the writer Joel Yanofsky. He was a close friend, a wonderful father and husband, a brilliant poker player, and a man who gave his all for the literary community in Montreal.