Lesley Choyce

Lesley Choyce immigrated to Canada in 1978 and founded Pottersfield Press, a small literary press located at Lawrencetown Beach, Nova Scotia. Initially, Pottersfield published an annual anthology of emerging writers from Atlantic Canada and soon the press was publishing books by poets and fiction writers throughout the region.

Soon after his arrival in Canada, Choyce began his own writing career with the release of a poetry book from Fiddlehead books and a short story collection from Nimbus. By 2020 Choyce had published 100 of his own works through various publishers across Canada. As a publisher, Choyce introduced nearly sixty first-time book authors to the reading public. A number of these Pottersfield authors went on to win awards for their books. As an editor and teacher, he has mentored many more novice writers along the way. His commitment to the writers of the Black and Mi’kmaq communities led to the publication of the first anthologies of writing from those communities.

As an author, Choyce has written and published literary novels, poetry, collections of short stories, children’s books and young adult novels as well as history, memoir, humour and creative nonfiction. He is known for his award-winning novel, The Republic of Nothing, and his history of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Shaped by the Sea. His young adult novels have been translated into French, Spanish, Danish, German, Swedish and Slovenian. He has been awarded the Atlantic Poetry Prize, The Ann Connor Brimer Award, the Dartmouth book Award and has been a finalist for the Governor General’s Award and Stephen Leacock Medal.

As an author he has given readings across Canada including Labrador and the Northwest Territories as well as in Ireland and England and Japan. At home in the Maritimes, he has given readings and workshops at hundreds of schools over the years. Choyce has sat on a number of Canada Council juries and has been a judge on several national and regional literary prizes. He is past president of the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia and former board member of the Literary Press Group and the Canadian Writers Foundation.

He has also had a distinguished teaching career that began with the City University of New York and after moving to Nova Scotia, teaching stints at Mt. St. Vincent University, NSCAD, St., Mary’s University and Dalhousie University where he has remained a permanent part time instructor since 1983. At Dalhousie, he teaches English in the Transition Year Program for Black and Mi’kmaq students as well as Creative Writing. In 2009 he was presented the Award for Teaching Excellence. In his lengthy teaching career he has taught well over 2000 students.

For nearly thirty years, Choyce hosted and co-produced nearly 300 episodes of literary talk shows that appeared locally and nationally and he used the show to introduce new writers from across Canada to the public. In the late 1990s, Choyce explored another one of his passions by founding the seminal spoken word rock band the SurfPoets along with Doug Barron and Stan Carew. Today, he continues to write and publish, teach and mentor.

Website: http://www.LesleyChoyce.com
Twitter: @lesleychoyce
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LesleyChoyce/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/lesleychoyce


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