Member Profile

Please note: All profiles are member-generated.

Peter Oliva

Peter Oliva

Peter Oliva writes mostly fiction. To support that habit, he has worked as a cook's flunkie, a Santa Claus (in Japan), and a dog trainer. In 1994 he opened a bookstore, called Pages on Kensington, where he ran a reading series and hosted 600 author events in six years before selling that little sweat-shop in 2000. He was a Writer-in-Residence in Calgary's Markin-Flanagan Distinguished Writers Programme. Between 2008 and 2010, he taught martial arts to his writing students at the Fernie Writers' Conference. He was a founder of Wordfest (that festival of writers), Poetry in Motion (a scheme to put poetry on Canadian buses and C-trains), and ExLibris (an ill-fated series of pajamma readings held at various Calgary Public Libraries).

One of his stories was turned into a short film, called Belly Button Broth, in 2008. It was shot in Bologna by great Giuseppe Gagliardi.

Peter Oliva lives in Calgary with his wife and daughter.



Drowning in Darkness. Toronto, ON: Cormorant Books, 1993; Spain: Muchnik Editores, 1996; France: Gallimard, 2005.
The City of Yes. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart, 1999; France: Editions Joelle Losfeld, 2003.


Writer’s Trust of Canada Fiction Prize for The City of Yes, 2000.
F.G. Bressani Prize for The City of Yes, 2000.
Georges Bugnet Award, Writers’ Guild of Alberta for The City of Yes, 2000.
Canadian Bookseller’s Association Award, Bookseller of the Year, 1999.
Finalist, F.G. Bressani Prize for Drowning in Darkness, 1994.
Eligible for National Public Readings Program: