Photo by Lynn Chalmers

I  was born in Winnipeg in 1955, raised in Gretna, Manitoba, and graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1979 with a History/English major An advanced creative writing workshop with Robert Kroetsch led to the publication of my first collection, Jimmy Bang Poems (Turnstone 1979). A co-founder of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild in 1981, I moved to Regina in 1982 to accept the position of the Executive Director at the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild and to found Windscript magazine, publishing the literary and visual art of Saskatchewan high school students. My next book, Correct in this Culture (5th House) was published in 1985. I was recruited by Ken Kramer in 1988 as the General Manager of the Globe Theatre in Regina to manage their conversion from a founder’s run organization to one responsible to a public Board of Directors.

I spent the next decade in arts administration, including four years as the Executive Director of the Manitoba Arts Council. While recovering from a serious episode of clinical depression, which cost me my job, and helped by my brother, Garry, president of the Mennonite Literary Society, I founded Rhubarb magazine in 1998. Forty-two issues were published by the Society until 2018,  sustained by volunteers, donors and subscribers.

Recovery aided by talk therapy and medication helped me to return to arts management and productivity as a writer, publishing Lucky Man (Hagios 2005),  boy (Hagios 2012) and Afghanistan Confessions (2014), written after my visit to Kabul in May 2008, and subsequent interviews with Canadian veterans back in Winnipeg. Hagios published this collection in November 2014. In 2015 Jimmy Bang rose from the ashes in the form of an angry old man playing the blues. This manuscript The Complete Jimmy Bang Poems is looking for a publisher, while serialized here.

I married Lynn Chalmers in 2007, and have three biological and two step-children, all successfully launched. Five grandchildren are a delight. Lynn and I separated and then divorced 2017.

My struggles have become more physical since 2010, with seven osteo surgeries since 2012, and more ahead. Hello arthritis and so long pain-free days. Details are recounted in “Old Bones and New Normals” on this website.

I am currently at work on a fiction project called Boundary Creek, whose premise is one of the Patreon Pages on my site. My new poetry collection renamed Love & Surgery will be published by Radiant Press (Regina) in fall 2019.




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