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David Lee

Photo: David Neil Lee, Chimney Coulee, Saskatchewan 2012

David’s first YA novel The Midnight Games, unleashed the Cthulhu Mythos of the late American writer H.P. Lovecraft onto the mean streets of postindustrial Hamilton, Ontario, and won the Hamilton Arts Council’s 2016 Kerry Schooley Award for the book that “best conveys the spirit of Hamilton.”
After studying English at UBC, David Lee worked for Toronto’s Coda Magazine, toured and recorded on double bass and cello, and ran the publishing house Nightwood Editions with his wife Maureen Cochrane. Returning to the west coast, he continued to play music and write, co-founded the Pender Harbour Jazz Festival, and worked in local resource industries while he and Maureen raised their two sons. In 2004 he completed the MA in Music Criticism at McMaster University, and in 2017 he received his PhD in English from the University of Guelph, writing his dissertation on the history of Toronto improvised music. In 2014 he presented a paper on Toronto’s Artists’ Jazz Band at the Rhythm Changes Conference in Amsterdam, and launched the new edition of his acclaimed The Battle of the Five Spot at the New School for Public Engagement in New York City. As a double bassist, he continues to play with the Lee Palmer Bennett Trio, as well as collaborating with poets such as Gary Barwin, Greg Betts, and George Elliott Clarke.

David continues to live, work, and play in Hamilton, while working on a sequel to The Midnight Games, and adapting his dissertation for book publication.

For his latest books, David has added his middle name, Neil, for reasons of googling.

Selected publications:

The Medusa Deep (Poplar Press/Wolsak & Wynn, Hamilton, 2021)

The Midnight Games (Poplar Press/Wolsak & Wynn, Hamilton, 2015).

Commander Zero (Tightrope Books, Toronto, 2012).

The Battle of the Five Spot: Ornette Coleman and the New York Jazz Field (3d ed. Revised, Wolsak & Wynn, Hamilton, 2014; first pub. By The Mercury Press, Toronto 2006)

Chainsaws: A History (Harbour Publishing, Madeira Park 2006)

Stopping Time: Paul Bley and the Transformation of Jazz (Véhicule Press, Montreal 1999)

Four-Wheeling on Southern Vancouver Island (Harbour Publishing, Madeira Park 1997)

Into the Night Life: Canadian Writers & Artists at Work (ed. with Maureen Cochrane, Nightwood Edtiions, Toronto 1986).

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