Brian Bartlett


Brian Bartlett was born in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, in 1953, grew up in Fredericton, lived for 15 years in Montreal, and moved to Halifax in 1990 to teach creative writing and literature at Saint Mary’s University. He will retire from teaching in June 2018. He has published seven collections and six chapbooks of poems, as well as Wanting the Day:Selected Poems, which was published internationally (by Peterloo Poets of Cornwall, England, and Goose Lane Editions in Canada) and won the 2004 Atlantic Poetry Prize. His other honours have inclued two Malahat Review Long Poem Prizes, first prize in the Petra Kenney poetry awards, and the 2009 Acorn-Plantos Award for People’s Poetry. In 2014 Fitzhenry & Whiteside published his first book of prose, Ringing Here & There: A Nature Calendar (a 366-paragraph book of days going from April 1st to the following March 31st), followed by Branches Over Ripples: A Waterside Journal (Gaspereau Press, 2017), a “plein air” experiment, drafted outdoors by various bodies of water (lakes, rivers, brooks, ponds, marshes, bays, waterfalls, etc.). A selection of Brian’s prose on poetry from over two decades is gathered together in All Manner of Tackle: Living with Poetry (Palimpsest, 2017).

He has also edited the Collected Poems of Alden Nowlan; a book of prose, Don McKay: Essays on His Works; selections of poetry: Earthly Pages: The Poetry of Don Domanski and, all from The Porcupine’s Quill, The Essential James Reaney, The Essential Robert Gibbs, and The Essential Dorothy Roberts; and The Child Alone, an anthology of childhood poems from which parents and other adults are largely marginalized or excluded. His wife is Karen Dahl, a Halifax Regional Library system manager, and their two children are Josh and Laura.



Winner of Malahat Review Long Poem Prize 1992, for “Underwater Carpentry”


Winner of Malahat Review Long Poem Prize 1999, for “Hawthornden Improvisations”


Winner of Petra Kenney Internatioanal Poetry Prize 2001, for “Foot-doctor for the Homeless”


Shortlisted for Atlantic Poetry Prize 2003, for The Afterlife of Trees.


Winner of Atlantic Poetry Prize 2004, for Wanting the Day: Selected Poems.


Winner of Acorn-Plantos Award for Poetry’s Poetry 2008, for The Watchmaker’s Table


Shortlisted for J. H. Abraham Prize for Poetry 2015, for Ringing Here & There: A Nature Calendar

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Recommended Experience Levels

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) recommends that each workshop’s participants share a level or range of writing / publication experience. This is to ensure each participant gets value from the workshop⁠ and is presented with information, strategies, and skills that suit their current writing priorities.

To this end, the “Recommended experience level” section of each workshop description refers to the following definitions developed by WFNS:

  • New writers: those who have been writing creatively for less than two years and/or have not yet been published in any form.
  • Emerging writers: those who have been writing creatively for less than five years and/or have some short publications (poems, stories, or essays) in literary magazines, journals, or anthologies.
  • Established writers/authors: those with numerous publications in magazines, journals, or anthologies and/or a full-length book publication.
  • Professional authors: those with two or more full-length book publications.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” workshops, which provide more opportunities for peer-to-peer (that is, participant-to-participant) feedback, the recommended experience level should be followed.

For all other workshops, the recommended experience level is just that—a recommendation—and we encourage potential participants to follow their own judgment when registering.

If you’re uncertain of your experience level with regard to any particular workshop, please feel free to contact us at