Margo Wheaton

Margo Wheaton is an award-winning poet and editor and is the author of Rags of Night in Our Mouths (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2022) and Wild Green Light (with David Adams Richards, Pottersfield Press, 2021). She lives and writes in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the traditional and ancestral territory of the Mi’kmaq.

Her debut poetry collection The Unlit Path Behind the House (McGill-Queen’s, 2016) won the Fred Kerner Award (Canadian Authors’ Association) for Book of the Year and the Alfred G. Bailey Award from the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick. It was also shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award, the J.M. Abraham Award, the Fred Cogswell Award for Literary Excellence, and the Relit Award.

Margo holds a Masters degree in English and a Certificate in Adult Education, both from Dalhousie University. Her essays and book reviews have appeared in a number of publications, including The Fiddlehead, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, the Guernica Series on Writers, Pottersfield Portfolio, The Antigonish Review and The Coast.

Her poetry has appeared in magazines and literary journals across the country including The Literary Review of Canada, The Antigonish Review, Event, The Fiddlehead, The New Quarterly, Prairie Fire, and Prism International. Her poems have been set to choral music and performed at the University of Toronto.

Comments about Rags of Night in Our Mouths (McGill-Queen’s, 2022):

”Rags of Night in Our Mouths is a haunting masterpiece of intimate negotiation. Harnessing all powers of the senses, these poems reach out to feel their way through darkened rooms, wild weather, and lost landscapes of the past and present. This is an unforgettable performance, and perhaps the most viscerally honest book of poetry to come out of Atlantic Canada in the last decade.” – Alexander MacLeod, author of Animal Person and Light Lifting 

”Margo Wheaton’s poetry of brooding hours and raw intensities is polished by phrasing of rare precision. In places both outer and inner, we hear a ‘primal/speech of branches clanking’ and learn that ‘family’s/an old night, its chaos Miltonic.’ Readers will find themselves riveted, their lives expanded by this strong-hearted book packed with truthfulness, tenderness, and music.” – Brian Bartlett, author of Daystart Songflight: A Morning Journal


Rags of Night in Our Mouths (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2022)

Wild Green Light (with David Adams Richards, Pottersfield Press, 2021)

The Unlit Path Behind the House (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016)


Fred Kerner Book Award, Canadian Authors Association, Winner.

J.M. Abraham Poetry Award, East Coast Literary Awards. Shortlisted.

Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, League of Canadian Poets. Shortlisted.

Alfred G. Bailey Award, Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick. Winner.

Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry. Shortlisted.

Relit Award. Shortlisted.

Petra Kenney International Poetry Competition, High Commendation.

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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 that 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 with no professional publications (yet!) or a few short professional publications (i.e., poems, stories, or essays in literary magazines, journals, anthologies, or chapbooks).
  • Emerging writers: those with numerous professional publications and/or one book-length publication.
  • Established writers/authors: those with two book-length publications or the equivalent in book-length and short publications.
  • Professional authors: those with more than two book-length publications.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” creative writing workshops, which provide more opportunities for 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