Curriculum Vitae

“This is fiction’s ‘unflinching eye’ at its most powerful, the gaze that spies out the heartbreaking cycle of human cruelty and refuses to look away.” Alissa York

Born in Montreal, Kerry-Lee Powell has lived in Australia, Antigua, and The United Kingdom, where she studied Medieval and Renaissance literature at Cardiff University and directed a literature promotion agency. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies throughout the United Kingdom and North America, including The Spectator, the Boston Review, and The Virago Writing Women series. In 2013, she won the Boston Review fiction contest, the Malahat Review’s Far Horizons Award for short fiction, and the Alfred G. Bailey manuscript prize. Her debut collection of poetry was published by Biblioasis Press in 2014, and was subsequently a finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for poetry. In 2015, she received a Pushcart Prize Special Mention for work published in the Malahat Review. Her debut collection of short fiction, Willem de Kooning’s Paintbrush, was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and shortlisted for both the Governor General’s Award for Literature, and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Powell was named a CBC writer to watch in 2016. She is the 2017 Writer-in-Residence at the University of New Brunswick and teaches fiction at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies.


Willem de Kooning’s Paintbrush

Finalist, Governor General’s Award for Literature, 2016

Finalist, Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, 2016

Nominated for the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize, 2016

Winner, Alistair McLeod Prize for Short Fiction, 2016

Winner, New Brunswick Book Award, 2016

CBC Writer to Watch, 2016

Globe and Mail Book of the Year, 2016

National Post Book of the Year, 2016

Quill and Quire Book of the Year, 2016

CBC Book of the Year, 2016

Walrus Magazine Book of the Year, 2016


Other Awards

Finalist for Gerald Lampert Memorial Award for best first collection of poetry

Best Canadian Short Stories 2015

Pushcart Prize Special Mention 2015 (for Palace of the Brine)

Winner of the 2013 Boston Review fiction contest (USA), judged by Nathan Englander

Winner of the 2013 Malahat Review Far Horizons Award for short fiction, judged by Alissa York

Winner of the 2013 Alfred G. Bailey manuscript prize

Finalist, Black Lawrence Black River award (USA)

Featured short story, Longform, August 2013 (USA)

Featured Artist, ArtsNB Final Report 2013

Nominated for four Pushcart Prizes (USA)

Banff Arts Centre Writing Studio 2013 residency

National Magazine Award 2012, honourable mention

Winner of the 2011 New Quarterly Magazine Nick Blatchford poetry prize

Hay-on-Wye Festival fiction residency (UK)

Fiction publications

“Palace of the Brine” The Malahat Review
“There Are Two Pools You May Drink From” The Boston Review (USA)
“The Prince of Chang” The Malahat Review
“Vulnerable Adults” Virago Press Anthology (UK)
“Three Accidents in a Kimono” Cambrensis Magazine
“It All Happens At Once” Random Factor Anthology (UK)
“A Three-Piece Suite” Circa 21 Magazine (UK)
“Dream of a Doorway” Writing Women Anthology vol. 13 no. 2 (UK)

Poetry publications

“The Answers” anthologized in Earth and Heaven: An Anthology of Canadian Myth Poetry eds. Amanda Jernigan and Evan Jones
“The Last of the Hitlers” The Fiddlehead, Fall 2014
“Russian Brides” The Fiddlehead, Fall 2014
“Hellespont” The Fiddlehead, Fall 2014
“Hensol” Canadian Notes and Queries (CNQ) Summer 2014
“Mirror Lake” Canadian Notes and Queries (CNQ), Summer 2014
“Inheritance” Canadian Notes and Queries (CNQ) Summer 2014
“Perdita” Riddle Fence, Fall 2013
“Two Views of a Stag” Riddle Fence, Fall 2013
“Ship’s Biscuit” The Spectator (UK) February 2, 2013
“Skinnydipping” MAGMA poetry (UK), 2013
“The Other Grandmother” Ambit Magazine (UK) 2013
“Fallowfield Station” Ambit Magazine (UK) 2013
“Seals” The Malahat Review 2012
“Sonnet” Contemporary Verse 2 2011
“The Lifeboat” The New Quarterly, issue 120, 2011
“The Emperor” The New Quarterly, issue 120, 2011
“The Girls Who Work at the Makeup Counter” Poetry Wales (UK)
“Inhuman” Poetry Wales (UK)
“Hansel and Gretel” The Pterodactyl’s Wing (UK ed. Richard Gwyn)
“Nancy Drew” The Pterodactyl’s Wing (UK ed. Richard Gwyn)
“Saint Sebastian” The Pterodactyl’s Wing (UK ed. Richard Gwyn)
“Stray Bullets” Sampler Magazine (UK)
“Fandango” Sampler Magazine (UK)
“Nothing from No-one” Yellow Crane Magazine (UK)
“Ex with Knives” Yellow Crane Magazine (UK)


“Graffiti: some meditations on the source of our creative urges” a guest blogpost for ArtsNB
“It’s Complicated” an essay on the self in lyric poetry (The New Quarterly, Fall 2014)
“Negotiating the Past in Poetry” an essay exploring post-traumatic stress disorder and poetry (The New Quarterly, issue 123 2012)
“Man Made Machines” an essay about robots, technology and the work of Nam June Paik and Paul Granjon, published as a catalogue for an exhibition by Paul Granjon at Chapter Art Gallery. (UK)


“Inheritance” (Biblioasis Press 2014)
“The Wreckage” a chapbook published by Grey Suit Editions (UK)
“Willem de Kooning’s Paintbrush” a short fiction collection (HarperCollins 2016)
“The Galileo” a novel forthcoming from HarperCollins
“Amygdala” (forthcoming Biblioasis Press 2019)


Best Canadian Stories (ed. John Metcalf, Oberon Press, Canada)

Earth and Heaven: an Anthology of Myth Poetry (eds. Amanda Jernigan, Evan Jones, Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Canada)

Wild Cards, The Second Virago Anthology of Writing Women (eds. Andrea Badenoch, Maggie Hannan, Pippa Little and Debbie Taylor, UK)

Pterodactyl’s Wing (ed. Richard Gwyn, Parthian Books, UK)

Dream of a Doorway (Writing Women Anthology, UK)

Random Factor (ed. Elaine Palmer, Pulp Faction, UK)


Master of Arts, Literature and Writing
Bachelor of Arts, Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Elizabeth Thomas Prize in Ancient History
Undergraduate Scholarship Award

Memberships and Associations

Society of Authors (UK)
Welsh Academy (UK)
Writer’s Union of Canada
League of Canadian Poets


Canada Council Award (2014)
ArtsNB award (2015)
ArtsNB award for poetry (2011)
ArtsNB award for fiction (2012)
ArtsNB Professional Development Award
Canada Council Travel Award (2013)
Arts Council of Wales Literature Bursary (UK)


Fredericton, NB Featured Arist, UNB, March 30th 2015
Coburg, ON Poetry reading, June 4th, 2015
Hamilton, ON, LitLive series June 7th, 2015
Ottawa, ON, Tree Reading Series, November 10th, 2015

Halifax Word On The Street Festival, September 21, 2014
Toronto, Biblioasis-IFOA 10th anniversary celebration, September 24th, 2014
Waterloo, Biblioasis-IFOA 10th anniversary celebration, September 25th, 2014
Montreal, Drawn and Quarterly, September 30 (with Stevie Howell, Michael Lista and Shoshanna Wingate)
Moncton, Attic Owl reading series (with Stevie Howell), October 2nd, 2014
Fredericton, UNB Poetry Weekend, October 4-5th, 2014
Kingston, Novel Idea (with Stevie Howell), October 23, 2014
Windsor, Windsor Bookfest, October 24-26, 2014
Toronto, Art Bar reading series, October 28, 2014
Halifax, St. Mary’s reading series, November 17th, 2014

Odd Sundays Reading Series, Fredericton 2013
Attic Owl Reading series, Moncton 2013
The New Quarterly Wild Writers Festival, Waterloo 2013
The Frye Festival, Moncton 2013
The New Quarterly Wild Writers Festival, Waterloo 2012