Reading in Perth, ON

I’m so pleased to announce that I’ll be bringing the fox back home… to Lanark County, that is. I’ll be reading at the library in Perth, ON, where some of these poems were written years ago! Here’s the info:

“The Perth & District Union Public Library is pleased to be hosting author and poet Julie Paul for a reading and book signing on Friday, August 10th, 2018, at 2 p.m.

Julie, originally from Lanark Village and now living in Victoria, BC, is the author of three books: two short story collections and her latest release, a poetry collection, called “The Rules of the Kingdom”(McGill-Queens University Press). Spanning in subject matter from pioneers to puberty, motherhood to marriage—even poems about the Lanark Fire—”The Rules of the Kingdom” has received excellent reviews, and was a finalist for both the 2018 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and 2018 The Gerald Lampert Memorial Prize.

Backbeat Books, Music & Gifts will be offering books for sale.”



The Rules of the Kingdom

My third baby, and my first poetry collection, The Rules of the Kingdom, was officially launched at Munro’s Books in Victoria on February 28th. What a beautiful evening it was. My sincere gratitude to all who attended, or sent their good wishes my way.


It’s on the shelves of other bookstores, too. And oh, the neighbours! (Bolen Books, below)

Wild Writer(s)

It’s been a crazy-in-a-good-way kind of autumn for me, in both my writing world and my day-job world. I moved my massage therapy practice into a beautiful little space in Fernwood, a part of Victoria I love. Did I mention that it’s all mine? The independent side of me is jumping with joy–I can use it whenever I like, decorate it however I want, AND, I can go there and write at my 100 year-old desk when I’m not massaging. Win/win! I’ve just added a huge map of the world on one wall, so now my patients and I can dream of fantastic voyages and reminisce about past ones. I LOVE MAPS!


Speaking of voyages, and writing, I went on a fast and fun trip east in early November, to the Wild Writers Festival in Waterloo, ON. This is an amazing little writers’ festival, hosted by the equally amazing magazine, The New Quarterly. I had never met anyone from the magazine, in person, but I was greeted on the first evening there as if I were an old friend. As the winner of one of their annual writing contests, the Edna Staebler Personal Essay award, I was honoured to read at the opening event, alongside fiction winner Lisa Alward and Kim Jernigan, who read the winning poem by Ruth Daniell. Here’s the link to an interview with CNF editor Susan Scott, who asked me some questions about writing the essay, and more:

I highly recommend this festival! And The New Quarterly… The next day was rich and full, and I was lucky enough to take a poetry workshop with Isabel Huggan and attend two panels and an evening event, before heading to my brother’s home nearby to get in a sweet visit with his family and my Dad and Nana, 90, who made the trip from Lanark Village.


Yet another wild thing: the cover of my forthcoming book of poetry with MQUP. How did they know that I love foxes, and saw at least five while in Ontario this past summer? Here’s a preview (the second capital T will be changed to lower case, for those who care about such things!) Needless to say, I am rather excited for the April 1st release of this little creature. The catalogue description will give you some more info, if you’re a curious fox.


Now, back to the wilderness of writing? There’s a novel waiting to be finished, along with some personal essays, poems, and story edits towards my third collection, which hopefully will make its journey toward publication one day. “The Expansion,” a longer story, recently won The Rusty Toque chapbook competition, and you can read the first part of it here.

Oh, right, there’s holiday madness first… Maybe in January. In the meantime, another wild thing: I actually beat my husband at tennis last month (and got to play outside in November).



March: On

This month I’ve had the pleasure of reading in two different venues, for very different audiences. The first was at the Salt Spring Library, alongside two lovely women, Kathy Page and Kathleen Winter, for their Women Write event, the day after International Women’s Day. In torrential rains I made my way via ferry from this island to that one, and took shelter in a coffee shop for the best vanilla latte I’ve had in years at JJ Beans, then supped on soup and red wine at ShipStones before the reading, all the while believing that we three writers might be reading to each other and the librarian who so kindly asked us to read. I was happily proven wrong, when over forty people of various ages filled the room and listened attentively as we all read our work, and then, answered audience questions about the writing process, research, truth and ritual. (I read the beginning of my story “Squirrel People,” which generally goes over well in a mixed crowd, i.e. it’s not too risqué). And, wonder of wonders, many people lined up to buy books! In a library! This is always a pleasant surprise. More wine and conversation followed at the librarian’s home, and then, I made my bleary-eyed way home the next morning in even more rain, just before the power went out.


A week later, I read at The Rabbit Hole reading series, sponsored by The Warren Review, an undergrad publication out of The University of Victoria. This reading took place at the mostly candlelit Copper Owl in Victoria, a former karaoke bar with a copper roof, cool paneling and carpeting soaked with decades of beer. Again, I was one of three women featured, this time following an open mic. The readers who signed up were funny, smart and bold, and the two young women who read before me, Zoe Duhaime and Kathleen O’Reilly, rocked the room with their words–poetry and a play, respectively. Then this old girl (really, I was the oldest person in the room until the DJ arrived near the end to set up for the music that would follow) got up and read the beginning of the story “Flip” from The Pull of the Moon, this time, because many readers had brought up sexy things, deciding to not skip the section where the character reflects on her first “oral” encounter with a young man. The audience laughed when they were supposed to, and were otherwise quiet and engaged, and the special drink of the night, BC Bramble, a smooth blend of cassis, gin and something citrusy, was good for a toast or two with the friends (also old-timers in their 40s) who’d come to hear me read for the first time.


All in all, a great month thus far revisiting my stories, including a spotting of my book in Mermaid Tales bookshop in the village of Tofino, where my family enjoyed a short holiday near the sea—and since I am not a surfer, I was able to begin a new story, warm and dry by the fire.

Now, onto poetry, as I’ve got new poems forthcoming in three publications this spring. And spring! Welcome, new growth, light and warmth, and hopefully a little less rain…

Chesterman's Beach, Tofino

Chesterman’s Beach, Tofino