Say Hello to Helen Humphreys!

Posted On Tuesday July 23, 2019

Helen Humphreys is our One Book One Halton Hills author of choice for the 2019 season. Her innovative work of fiction Machine Without Horses is the featured book for this exclusive event. Without further ado, here’s a little bit about Helen:

Life has taken Helen Humphreys from her birthplace in Kingston-on-Thames, England, to her current home in Kingston, Ontario. The Literary Review of Canada proclaimed; “Humphreys is a consummate storyteller… [She] is always meditating upon fiction as an art form and its ability to replicate life. Humphreys is not only a writer- she is a writer/critic in the tradition of the poet/critic, T.S. Eliot.”

Humphreys is the author of eight novels, four collections of poetry, and five works of non-fiction:

  • Leaving Earth (1997) – won the City of Toronto Book Award
  • Afterimage (2000) – won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and received a nomination for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize
  • The Lost Garden (2002) – became a Canada Reads selection for 2003 and a national bestseller
  • Wild Dogs (2004) – won the Lambda Prize for fiction, was optioned for film, and was produced as a stage play at CanStage in Toronto in the fall of 2008
  • Coventry (2008) – won the Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice, was shortlisted for the Trillium Book Award and the Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction
  • The Reinvention of Love (2012) – was longlisted for the Dublin Impac Literary Award and shortlisted for the Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction
  • The Evening Chorus (2015) – was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award in Fiction and selected for CBC’s Best Books of 2015 and the National Post’s Best Books of 2015

Her collections of poetry include: Gods and Other Mortals (1986), Nuns Looking Anxious, Listening to Radios (1990), The Perils of Geography (1995), and Anthem (1999), which won the Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry.

Humphreys’ first work of creative non-fiction, The Frozen Thames was published in 2007 and became a number one national bestseller. She has gone on to write four other non-fiction works:  Nocturne (2013), True Story (2013), The River (2016), and most recently, The Ghost Orchard, published in 2017.

She was a 2009 recipient of the Harbourfront Festival Prize for literary excellence and served as Kingston’s Poet Laureate from 2015 – 2018.

Humphrey’s acclaimed novel and this year’s book title, Machine Without Horses combines a reflection on the process of a modern-day author crafting a novel, along with an account of a woman ahead of her time, crafting her art and livelihood. Helen Humphreys takes on the task of crafting a fictional life inspired by events in her own life and the famous salmon-fly dresser Megan Boyd, a craftswoman of great renown who worked for sixty years out of a bare-bones cottage in a small village in the north of Scotland.

HHPL invites the community to attend an intimate and inspiring evening with Helen Humphreys as she discusses her book Machine Without Horses, her other works and her writing process, followed by a book signing in the Helson Gallery:

One Book One Halton Hills Author Visit
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 7:30 p.m. in the John Elliott Theatre
Tickets $10 at the Box Office

For more information about our One Book One Halton Hills event, visit: