“Leslie’s prose surges along on enigmatic imagery, rich phrasing, a mild surreal quality.”

–The Globe and Mail 

“With assured debuts in two genres, Alex Leslie melds remarkable acuity of vision with a refreshing eagerness for formal experimentation. She’s at once a writer’s writer and an accomplished teller of tales.  Leslie displays a tremendous gift for compassion that’s equal to a talent for technique.”

–Dayne Ogilvie Prize Jury Citation, The Writers’ Trust of Canada


Hello there!

I am a writer born in Vancouver.

My third book,  We All Need to Eat (short stories), is now available from BookThug Publishers in Toronto (publication date: October 1, 2018). You can order the book and read more about it here.

I will be reading from the book at the Toronto International Festival of Authors on Saturday October 27th, in a double interview with Japanese novelist Sayaka Murata: you can read about the event and buy tickets here.

I’ll be reading in Montreal on November 3rd at 7 PM at Drawn & Quarterly with Paige Cooper, Kim Trainor and Tess Liem: you can read about that event here.

Praise for We All Need to Eat:

We All Need to Eat is a stunning inquiry into the sharpness of the world as it collides with the fragility – the ambiguities and possibilities – of the self. Alex Leslie a tremendously gifted and compassionate writer. This bold and searing collection is a wonder.”

Madeleine Thien, Scotiabank Giller Prize winning author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing, Dogs at the Perimeter, Certainty, and Simple Recipes

“There’s plenty to say about We All Need To Eat, all of it good. In her second story collection Vancouver’s Alex Leslie has created a thematically rich and sophisticated portrait of an individual and her entwined networks — family, friends, lovers. […] In the tradition of Alice Munro’s “Royal Beatings” and Barbara Gowdy’s “Disneyland,” Leslie’s lovely-but-sad depiction of helpless innocence is managed with a perfectly sure hand.”

—Brett Josef Grubisic, The Toronto Star


Cover and book design: Malcolm Sutton

“Alex Leslie has written a refreshing set of interlocking narratives about family and heartache. A far cry from the self-discovery credos of the millennial age, her protagonist Soma ruminates and broods. And with Soma’s painfully careful and wonderfully-crafted considerations, the reader might also weight the many small, trying moments that connect us to chosen and blood family.”

Amber Dawn, author of Sodom Road Exit, How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler’s Memoir, Where the Words End and My Body Begins and Sub Rosa

“In a sense, Soma [the main character] is herself an oscillation, moving between the poetic and the fictional, constantly evolving, constantly making words swerve in countless directions, and captivating readers one sentence at a time. A magnetic collection that must be read over and over.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Leslie’s prose is fluid, occasionally leaving this reader lightheaded. Nearly each story feels like a narrative experiment, and at times the narrative is taken over by her interest in breathless lyricism. Leslie’s weaving of the stories deepens the reader’s understanding and interest in Soma with each story, leaving one full.”

– Fiona Raye Clarke, Broken Pencil

“Leslie uses poetic techniques to enhance the strengths of narrative prose rather than to push it awkwardly into some other domain. Her surprising juxtapositions, strong and deftly deployed metaphors, and dynamic sentence structures create dense emotional landscapes tied to a well-developed sense of time and place. From those landscapes, a rich, subtle portrait of Soma emerges and then evolves as the stories expose more facets of her life.”

– Quill and Quire


My collection of prose poems, The things I heard about you, was published by Nightwood Editions (blewointment series) in Fall 2014. It was shortlisted for the 2014 Robert Kroetsch Award for innovative poetry. You can buy a copy through the publisher hereMy collection of short stories entitled People Who Disappear was published by Freehand Books in April 2012 and was shortlisted for a 2013 Lambda Award for debut fiction. My chapbook of microfictions Twenty Objects For The New World  was published by Vancouver’s Nomados Literary Publishers in 2011.

In 2015, I received the Dayne Ogilvie Award from the Writers’ Trust of Canada for emerging LGBT*Q2S writers. In fall 2017, my short story “The Initials” was included in Granta‘s first issue dedicated to Canadian writing, edited by Madeleine Thien and Catherine Leroux. I have won a CBC Literary Award for fiction, a Gold National Magazine Award for non-fiction, an Honourable Mention at the National Magazine Awards for fiction, and a Matrix fiction award, and I was shortlisted for the 2018 ARC poem of the year award for my poem ‘The Purity Detector.’ My work has been included in the anthologies Journey Prize Stories 2016 (Random House/McClelland & Stewart) as a contender for the Journey Prize for short fiction,  Best Canadian Poetry In English (Tightrope Books), Best Canadian Stories (Oberon), and Friend. Follow. Text. #stories from living online (Enfield & Wizenty, Ed. Shawn Syms, 2014).

My fourth book, a collection of poetry, Vancouver for Beginners, will be published by BookThug in 2019.

I am currently writing a novel.

I live in the Vancouver area and can be reached at

Thank you for reading.


Photo Credit: Writers Trust of Canada/Dayne Ogilvie Award presentation ceremony