About Neile Graham

who I am

 Neile Graham

I read. I write. I have a day job. I'm in my early sixties (don't know how that happened so quickly). I am married to poet James Gurley. We have the obligatory two cats and a little white & sage green house in Seattle, Washington.

I'm Canadian by birth and inclination, but have lived in the U.S. most of my adult life.

I'm a grad of the Clarion West Writers Workshop for writers of speculative fiction, and back in the dawn of time, I did a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Victoria, then an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana.

what I write

Most of my writing life I have concentrated on poetry. I have had four full-length collections published, a collection of recordings of me reading my poems, and over 200 individual poems in magazines and anthologies.

I have also published articles, essays, reviews, and short stories.

My current focus is fiction: revising four novels and writing the first draft of two novellas, all semi-related contemporary fantasy romances.

where I work

Besides the writing, I've worked in a lumber and hardware store, an alcoholic treatment centre, an astrophysical observatory, and several universities, both as a teacher and as an office worker. At the end of 2019, after 19 years of writer wrangling, I passed on the torch of Workshop Director for Clarion West Writers' Workshop.

I'm currently Program Operations Specialist at the University of Washington, running and doing academic advising for the Ph.D. in the Built Environment, and the Historic Preservation and Urban Design Program programs for the College of Built Environments.

what I read

Poetry and fiction, mostly. Most of the poetry I read is contemporary (though I do love Sappho, Chaucer, Shakespeare, the Metaphysical Poets, etc.) and English language (I only read English and a tiny bit of French, haltingly).

The bulk of my fiction reading is novels. Many are speculative fiction—some form of science fiction, fantasy, or a mixture of the two—though I still read quite a few mainstream/literary novels as well, and have new and overwhelming interest in romance. Learn too much about my reading at Goodreads. My newest obsession is reading via audiobooks.

what I listen to

Another thing I do is run The Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music, a collection of comments on musical artists from contributors on the ecto music mailing list, full of comments about music I like (and don't like). This site (and my listening) focuses (though not exclusively) on experimental pop by women artists. My listener's bio appears there.

honors and awards

I was thrilled and honoured to receive A World Fantasy Award in 2017 in the Special Award — Non Professional category "for fostering excellence in the genre through [my] role as Workshop Director, Clarion West" on behalf of the staff, board, volunteers, supporters, instructors, and students of Clarion West. I am also proud to have received the Meritorious Banana for Aid Rendered during the 2017 Locus Awards Weekend.

Spells for Clear Vision was a finalist for the Pat Lowther Award. "Wearing Nothing But The Midnight Sun" won Arc's Confederation Poets Prize. I have had five poems nominated for the Rhysling Award, and have also been the featured poet on Goblin Fruit. Seven poems have been included in the Imaginarium series of the best of Canadian speculative fiction and poetry. "On Skye" won third prize in the League of Canadian Poets' National Poetry Contest, and four other poems have been finalists in Arc magazine's Poem of the Year contest, and have appeared there as "editor's choice."

I've been lucky enough to receive several grants: two project grants from the Canada Council: one to complete Spells for Clear Vision and one to research The Walk She Takes, poems from my travels in Scotland. I also received a creation grant to write a new(ish) collection Cedar and Stone. I have also received grants from The Seattle Arts Commission, Artists Trust of Washington, and the King County Arts Council to support poetry writing projects, and a small one from the Washington State Arts Commission to help me attend Clarion West.