I owe most of the success I’ve had in the last year or so to Kim Jernigan and The New Quarterly. Winning the TNQ poetry prize and subsequent NMA nomination has given me the confidence to keep working at a manuscript I’d set to one side after a long illness, and which is now nearly finished. Kim also commissioned my first essay in many years, re-awakening my interest in non-fiction writing. It was a characteristically generous, charming gesture of Kim, Pamela Mulloy and the TNQ to invite me to read at their first Wild Writers Festival, an impeccably organized event that featured some of Canada’s warmest, funniest and most brilliant writers. Highlights for me included giggling with the lovely Miranda Hill about potential board game titles, almost persuading Michael Helm and Michael Redhill to perform Hall and Oates at a Karaoke bar, hearing Patricia Young read a poem set in a Polynesian restaurant, and clinking mojitos with Michael Crummey.