fiction and poetry

“A magnetic collection that must be read over and over.” –Kirkus, review of We All Need to Eat

“In the tradition of Alice Munro’s “Royal Beatings” and Barbara Gowdy’s “Disneyland,” the story’s lovely-but-sad depiction of helpless innocence is managed with a perfectly sure hand.” –Brett Josef Grubisic, The Star


I am a writer born on Musqueam territory in Vancouver, BC. My heritage is English and Ashkenazi Jewish from Ukraine. My writing spans poetry and fiction and I am most interested in the spaces in between.

I have published four books and one chapbook: the short story collection People Who Disappear (Freehand 2012), the prose poetry collection The things I heard about you (Nightwood 2014), the short story collection We All Need to Eat (Book*hug 2018), the poetry collection Vancouver for Beginners (Book*hug, 2019) and the chapbook of microfictions 20 Objects for the New World (Nomados, 2011). To buy my books, go to the ‘Books’ page above.

Image Credit: Sheryl MacKay, North by Northwest, CBC Radio, 2020

I have received a CBC Literary Award, a gold National Magazine Award and the Dayne Ogilvie Award from the Writers Trust of Canada. My books have been shortlisted for the BC Book Prize for best fiction (Ethel Wilson prize), the Lambda Award for best debut fiction, the Western Canadian Jewish book award, and the Robert Kroetsch award for innovative poetry. I’ve taught as a guest fiction mentor at the Banff Centre for the Arts. I facilitated life-writing workshops for four years for a community writing program in homeless drop-ins, detoxes and social housing buildings. To hear/read more about my work select the ‘Reviews’ section at the top of this page.

Queries re. We All Need to Eat and Vancouver For Beginners can be sent to Hazel Millar at hazel@bookhugpress.ca. I can be reached at al.leslie@gmail.com (things often go to Junk, so if you don’t hear back, try again!). I live in the Vancouver, BC, area. I frequently read to classrooms and my writing has been taught at universities and colleges across Canada including UBC, OISE, UVic, Kwantlen and Capilano. I am currently writing a novel.

Thank you for reading!

Dayne Ogilvie Award ceremony. Photo credit Writers Trust of Canada.
Reading at Type Books, Toronto.

‘All the world is a narrow bridge. The important thing is to have no fear at all.’

– Rabbi Nachman of Breslev

*the image at the top is of a woman in front of a piece by Anselm Kiefer

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