Member Profile

André Narbonne

A marine engineer by first trade, André Narbonne was living out of his duffel bag when he arrived in Halifax on a damaged tanker in the mid—eighties. He completed two degrees in English at Dalhousie University and a PhD at the University of Western Ontario. He teaches English & Creative Writing at the University of Windsor.

Praise for André Narbonne's Twelve Miles to Midnight:

"Twelve Miles to Midnight feels like so much more than the sum of its parts, never straying from the small particulars of ordinary lives yet somehow achieving the breadth and depth of an epic. Narbonne writes with a rare humanity and insight, giving all his characters their due and uniquely attuned to the ties that bind them.” – Nino Ricci, author of The Origin of Species

“Though Twelve Miles to Midnight covers lots of cold, hard territory – from Northern Ontario, to Cape Breton, to an ice-bound tanker trapped off the coast of Newfoundland – there is no denying the intimate warmth of Narbonne’s writing, the careful craftsmanship of his stories, and the tenderness of his characterization. This is one beautiful, tough book, full of complex relationships and sometimes angry compassion. I bet David Adams Richards and Herman Melville could appreciate what’s happening in here. I hope you will, too.” – Alexander MacLeod, author of Light Lifting

“These are stories of loss--lost jobs, lost loved ones, lost lives. People lost to cancer, accident, their own hand. Lost childhood and lost relationships. Their consolation is to tell the stories, the old hope that to set down the right words in the right order has the power not to make sense of loss but simply to remember it. Twelve Miles to Midnight is a superbly crafted gift: honest, compelling, and deeply moving.” – Nick Mount, University of Toronto

Praise for You Were Here:

André Narbonne deploys an austere precision of imagery that depicts in the sharpest possible focus his poems’ scenes, incidents and characters: “a blue balloon . . . / . . . tumbles tentatively on the beach in search of a lost child” or a house lawn reveals “the commonplace litter of a distracted family.” In both lineated and prose poems, Narbonne in You Were Here provides an unflinching look at rural Ontario childhood. His deft poems recall those throw-away words uttered by a significant adult that can haunt one throughout one’s life, for example the mother cautioning a novice photographer: “Stop! / my mother cried. / It’s not a picture without someone in it.” Or a child misunderstanding a pending divorce, when at a lake he hears his “father say he was / parting waves with the family.” Other poems skillfully consider the grown child, nature and travels through time and geography. A sense of home grounds and sustains the poet; in contrast, he is aware that “no stranger / can draw anything but a self-portrait.” And thanks to Narbonne’s amazing eye and command of his art we are shown the familiar in unexpected places in our world, like those birds the poet notices that roost in the letters of large advertising signs, that “nest in the alphabet of commerce.” Tom Wayman

E-mail: c/o Writers' Union of Canada
Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada

Publications

You Were Here (poetry collection). Flat Singles Press, December 2016
Twelve Miles to Midnight (short story collection). Black Moss Press, April 2016

Awards

FreeFall literary contest for “Darren, Almost in Love” (short story), 2011
David Adams Richards Prize (Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick) for The Separatists, 2008
Atlantic Writing Competition (Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia) for “The Advancements” (short story), 1998
Finalist Danuta Gleed Literary Award, 2016
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :
Yes

WITS

Northern OAC WITS:
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