Merilyn Simonds
News and Media for Merilyn Simonds, author


Want advance notice of Merilyn’s news–and more? Sign up for LITBITS »


.   What’s New? »

.   Interviews with Merilyn »

.   Recent Articles on Her Work »

.   Recent Publications in Magazines and Journals »

.   Media »

Merilyn the Writer

Standing in a tree

With Poet Laureate

San Miguel Conference

Reading in San Miguel


with Margaret Atwood

Hunter Street Books

at Vancouver Writers Fest

Hand drawn figure made out of book pages

Merilyn Simonds

copyright Virginia Simonds

Book cover - A New Leaf Merilyn Simonds

copyright Paul Orenstein

copyright Bernard Clark copyright Paul Orenstein

copyright Paul Orenstein

copyright Bernard Clark

.   What’s New?   .


July 10, 2022 CBC Saskatchewan interview with Merilyn Simonds on Woman, Watching
June 29, 2022 The Holding is part of this disturbing/inspiring story of one Vancouver Little Library
June 23, 2022 Woman, Watching makes the CBC Summer Reading List: 45 cool books to read while the weather heats up. Check out their selection of “buzzworthy Canadian and international fiction and nonfiction books” »
June 1, 2022 Booklist starred review of Woman, Watching: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence and the Songbirds of Pimisi Bay
May 26, 2022 Interview with The Morning Show, Global News
May 24, 2022 “Migration” published on Canadian Writers Abroad
May 15, 2022 Interview with Lynn Pickering on The County Reads
May 11, 2022 National Launch: Merilyn Simonds in conversation with Helen Humphreys, author of Field Study
April 27, 2022 Merilyn Simonds answers “Three Questions” in the Canadian Writers Abroad 10th Anniversary celebration series
April 27, 2022 30th anniversary of the day Louise died at the age of 98—and the online launch of "Woman, Watching” the video, directed and produced by my granddaughter Astrid Mohr, sound design and engineering by my son, Karl Kohr, written and narrated by me, Merilyn Simonds, based on the book Woman, Watching: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence and the Songbirds of Pimisi Bay.
Spring, 2022 “The Making of a Midcentury Amateur Ornithologist,” an excerpt from Woman, Watching: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence and the Songbirds of Pimisi Bay in Canadian Geographic Magazine (online).
Spring, 2022 “Virtuoso,” an excerpt with photographs from Woman, Watching: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence and the Songbirds of Pimisi Bay in Queen’s Quarterly.
March/April, 2022 Starred Review in Foreword Reviews for Woman, Watching: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence and the Songbirds of Pimisi Bay: “A stellar, adventure-filled biography, Woman, Watching pays tribute to the indomitable, eccentric woman who once observed a red-eyed vireo for fourteen hours straight as it sang over twenty-two thousand songs.”
February 9, 2022 Starred Review in Publishers Weekly for Woman, Watching: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence and the Songbirds of Pimisi Bay. “Simonds’s prose shines and brings the reader into the remarkable moments bird-watchers live for. This brilliant account does justice to a pioneering figure who merits wider recognition.”
January, 2022 Audio rights for Woman, Watching: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence and the Songbirds of Pimisi Bay sold to Tantor Media, part of RBMedia, one of the two largest audiobook companies in the world. Narrated by Elizabeth Wiley, the audiobook will be released on May 24, 2022.Link to purchase »


December 3, 2021 First advance praise for Woman, Watching: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence and the Songbirds of Pimisi Bay. Margaret Atwood Tweets: “What a life! Louise de Kiriline Lawrence escaped the Russian Revolution, was nurse to the Dionne Quintuplets, then moved to a log cabin and became an iconic birder and friend of Merilyn Simonds, who has written this lyrical, passionate, and deeply researched portrait.”
November 5, 2021 Merilyn Simonds and Wayne Grady read from new work and discuss living and working together as writers, part of the Double Date Reading Series, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Watch the interview (Google Drive link) »
November 4, 2021 Merilyn Simonds and Wayne Grady read from new work at San Miguel de Allende’s Prose Café.
October 20, 2021 MFA student Karen Wood interviews creative writing mentor Merilyn Simonds in River Volta Review of Books, edited and published by the University of Saskatchewan’s MFA in Writing (Saskatoon, Treaty 6).
Read the interview »
May, 2021 I just signed a contract with ECW Press for my new biography/memoir, Woman, Watching: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence and the Songbirds of Pimisi Bay. Watch for it in May, 2022.


November 12, 2020 Short Story Spectacular (video). Merilyn Simonds in conversation with Genni Gunn, Mary MacDonald and Madeline Sonik.
October 11, 2020 In conversation with Margaret Atwood (video). From the San Miguel Writers' Conference & Literary Festival
September 14, 2020 Refuge released by btb publishing in Germany as Zuflucht, translated by Cornelia Holfelder-von der Tann


January, 2019 I have signed a contract with btb publishing house for a German edition of Refuge, to be published sometime in 2020.


October 5, 2018 “Life, Death, and Art: On the Photography of Reva Brooks” or How I discovered a real-life character who might have been the model for my fictional heroine.
September 25, 2018 “Ten Years Later: The birth of Kingston WritersFest”, in The Kingston Whig-Standard
September 5, 2018 Reading Abroad, essay at Canadian Writers Abroad
September 4, 2018 Release date for Refuge
September 4, 2018 How Long Should it Take to Write a Book?, guest blog at Jane Friedman -
Reader’s comment: “Brilliant! And so very timely…I am hanging this mantra on my wall.”
March 2, 2018 How a small city in Mexico has become a vibrant haven for Canadian artists, an article by Talin Vartanian, CBC
March, 2018 The Convict Lover is released — a 22nd year anniversary edition with a new introduction and epilogue.
February 13, 2018 Merilyn weighs in on London’s best bookshop in TouristEngland:The Insiders’ Guise.
January 22, 2018 Solamente en San Miguel (Only in San Miguel) is released, including an excerpt from Merilyn’s upcoming novel, Refuge.


December, 2017 Crossroads, the magazine of the San Miguel de Allende Writers’ Conference and Festival, is released, including an excerpt from The Paradise Project.
November, 2017 Gutenberg’s Fingerprint is named a 2017 Globe Best Book.
October 19 to November 2, 2017 The National Arts Centre Orchestra will be performing Life Reflected, including “Dear Life” my symphonic adaptation of the Alice Munro story in central and western Canadian cities: Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Victoria and Vancouver.
Winnipeg – October 19
Saskatoon – October 23
Calgary – October 26 (full )
Edmonton – October 28
Victoria – October 30
Vancouver – November 2 (full)
Find out more on the National Arts Centre website »
September 30, 2017 Project Bookmark Canada plaque honouring The Convict Lover
September 30th the plaque will be unveiled in Garrigan Park, Portsmouth Village, once the quarry where the Kingston Penitentiary convicts did hard time breaking stone.
See event information on Kingston WritersFest website »

September 12, 2017 Inside Kingston Penitentiary with The Convict Lover
— Merilyn at Algonquin College’s Waterfront Campus in Pembroke, Ontario
See the video »
May through September, 2017 #CanadaBooks150
A Sesquicentennial Twitter campaign by Merilyn Simonds and Olivia Robinson of Bookmark Bookstore that lists a book published for each year of Confederation.
See the complete list »
August, 2017 Gutenberg’s Fingerprint is featured in Kingston Life, “Summer Reads”
July 7, 2017 Gutenberg’s Fingerprint is included in the Toronto Star’s roundup of “Books for Every Weekend of the Summer.”
June, 2017 Gutenberg Giveaway
Enter to win a free copy at 49th Shelf through the month of June!
June, 2017 Merilyn Simonds recommends Eva Crocker and others on the Writers’ Trust’s “2017 Summer Reading”
June, 2017 The Convict Lover anniversary edition
Merilyn Simonds signs a contract with ECW Press for a reissue of The Convict Lover, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of discovering this story in a Kingston, Ontario attic.
June 29, 2017 Project Bookmark Canada announces the installation of a plaque to honour the place of The Convict Lover in Canada’s literary landscape. On September 30 the plaque will be unveiled in Garrigan Park, Portsmouth Village, once the quarry where Kingston Penitentiary convicts did hard time breaking stone.
June 18, 2017 CBC Spark interview with Nora Young. “Turning the page: the future of the printed book” with Nora Young,
April 12, 2017 Official publication date for Gutenberg’s Fingerprint: Paper, Pixels & the Lasting Impressions of Books, published by ECW Press
March, 2017 Profile Kingston, “Hugh, Me, and the Book”
Excerpt from Gutenberg’s Fingerprint: Paper, Pixels & The Lasting Impression of Books
March, 2017 Quill & Quire, “Out of the Attic & Down the Rabbit Hole’
Feature Essay
Link to the article »
Spring, 2017 Queen’s Quarterly, “Gutenberg’s Fingerprint: Paper, Pixels & The Lasting Impression of Books”
February, 2017 The Writing Platform, Versions of Paradise
Experience Essay
January, 2017 Merilyn Simonds signs a contract with ECW Press for the publication of her novel, Refuge.


February 18 –March 6, 2016 World premiere of the play by Judith Thompson, inspired by The Convict Lover, directed by Kathryn MacKay, commissioned and produced by Theatre Kingston’s Artistic Producer, Brett Christopher.
Spring 2016 Release of the Cambridge Companion to Alice Munro, edited by David Staines, including an essay by Merilyn Simonds “Where do you Think you Are?: Place in the Stories of Alice Munro”
May 19, 2016 World premier of Life Reflected, a suite of four symphonies commissioned from four Canadian composers, including “Dear Life” a symphony by Zosha di Castri based on an adaptation by Merilyn Simonds of the Alice Munro story, with narration by Martha Henry, voice by soprano Erin Wall, photography by Larry Towell, and creative direction by Stratford Festival’s Donna Feore. Commissioned and conducted by Alexander Shelley. National Arts Centre Orchestra, Ottawa

Watch: A live panel on the NAC’s Life Reflected »
2016 ARC magazine, Frameworks Issue
“Words on the Land I” and “Words on the Land II”, a poem and story produced during weekend retreat at Fieldworks, Perth

.   Interviews with Merilyn   .

Ontario’s Vibrant Voices: Talking to The Word on the Street Authors Lezlie Lowe, Rabindranath Maharaj, & Merilyn Simonds (September 19, 2018) -

Global CKWS The Morning Show with Bill Welychka -

Hal Wake, esteemed Canadian literary maven (former CBC book producer and artistic director of Vancouver International Writers Festival), interviews Merilyn Simonds about the inspiration for and process of writing her new novel, Refuge.

Listen to the interview (MP3) »

A Proust Questionnaire-type of lighthearted questions about Merilyn and her work; also Ivan E Coyote, Guy Gavriel Kay, Iain Reid, Kerry Clare, Bev Sellars, Rebecca Rosenblum & more.

“County Reads, County Writes”, 993County FM, one-hour interview on Gutenberg’s Fingerprint with veteran literary broadcaster Lynn Pickering

Segment 1 (14:43)

Segment 2 (14:35)

Segment 3 (17:56)

“How I Wrote It”, series on CBC Books features Q&A with Merilyn on the writing of Gutenberg’s Fingerprint

“A Leader in Canadian Writing Takes Stock of Self-Publishing”, by Carla Douglas, September 27, 2016. Retrieved from

On The Convict Lover

“Convict Lover Revisited,” by Peter Hendra, Kingston Whig-Standard, February 13, 2016. Read the story »

The Convict Lover adapted into new theatre production,” by Merilyn Simonds, Kingston Whig-Standard, February 3, 2016. Read the story »

On the adaptation of “Dear Life” for the Zosha di Castri symphony

Adapting Alice Munro’s “Dear Life” for the NAC stageOttawa Morning. CBC. September 17, 2015. Radio.

“A ‘groundbreaking’ project,” by Michael Lea, Kingston Whig-Standard, September 4, 2015. Read the interview »

NACO’s cutting edge: Dear Life leads the way into a new form of musical presentation, Ottawa Citizen, by Peter Robb, September 11, 2015. Read online:

Reviews for Echoes of Childhood:

Gauthier, Natasha. "Shelley’s NACO debut haunting, vaguely menacing and powerful." Ottawa Citizen Thursday, September 17, 2015. Web.

Everett-Green, Robert. "Director Alexander Shelley brings adventurous life to NAC Orchestra." The Globe and Mail Friday, September 18, 2015. Web.

From Reviews of A New Leaf

“Merilyn Simonds writes of her soul–feeding experiences across an entire gardening year…it doesn’t take long for the book’s hard, black lines of type to disappear, and for the reader to be spellbound, completely submerged in her special world.”
The Globe and Mail, April 16, 2011
Read the whole review »

On Gardening and Writing

Literature in Bloom: Merilyn Simonds in conversation with Amatoritsero Ede, Maple Tree Literary Supplement, Issue #5

On Breakfast at the Exit Café: Travels Through America

Shelagh Rogers of CBC’s The Next Chapter talks with Merilyn & Wayne about life on the American road: Listen now »

“Two for the Road” in Open Book Ontario magazine

“Writers view America, Up Close and Personal” in Pique Newsmagazine, Whistler

On The Holding

“This time, Merilyn Simonds chooses to tell stories as a novel,” by Sarah Crosbie, Kingston Whig–Standard, March 29, 2004.

“A Woman Walks Alone in the Woods,” by Paul Gessel, Ottawa Citizen, April 8, 2004.

“What we remember and what we've lost,” by Susan Walker, Toronto Star, May 9, 2004.

On The Lion in the Room Next Door

with Linda Richards at

with The Arts Today, CBC Radio.

with BookTV, January 2000. mediaed/ guidepage_booktv.asp?studyID=48

with David Bright, Ffwd Magazine, May 27, 1999.

.   Recent Articles on Her Work   .

“Through a Windshield Darkly” by Mark Frutkin in the Literary Review of Canada, December, 2010.
Read the full review (PDF) »

.   Recent Publications in Magazines and Journals   .

“The Girls from Campinas” in EnRoute magazine online at

“The Back Room” in Room Magazine: Past and Present, Volume 33.3, Fall 2010.

“Tree” “Fruit” “Earth” from The Paradise Project, The Antigonish Review, Summer 2009.

“Garden Suite” from The Paradise Project, Review 76: Literature and Arts of the Americas, Volume 41, No. 1, May, 2008.

.   Media   .

For interviews, please contact my publicist.

To see a high-resolution photo, please click on the photos in the left–hand column. Photo credit must be included as shown. The photographs may be reproduced only for the purposes of promoting a reading by Merilyn Simonds or illustrating a profile, an excerpt, or a review of her books. Under no circumstances may these images be manipulated or retouched, digitally or otherwise. Any unauthorized use violates copyright law.