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Where I’m from and where I’m going and how I am doing. Also known as the shape I’m in. I identify as a writer with disabilities, or if you prefer a neurodiverse crip writer.



I’ve sent out new incorrect, (bet you didn’t see that coming!) address information. Effective February 1, you’ll find Victor Enns, his wife Michelle, her service dog once a rescue dog Leo, and keyboard assistant Gus a short/medium hair tabby at their new digs:

102 – 940 Glenwood Avenue
Kelowna, B.C.
V1Y 9P2 

That’ll be all for today. You know, we’re moving. Wait a minute there might be a poem somewhere…



Halving the pill was a tricky operation
you can’t live without the heart clacks on
no longer insane your brain holds water
reflecting uneven dances, riding clouds
grandma’s peppermints in your mouth
father half wild atop this city I swear
I heard his teacher laughing as he died
one more time change rattles in his pocket …


We are grateful for soft landings, delighted we are happy, safe, and well-loved. This year, life turned us upside down in time for our first anniversary spent in hospital.  Victor was in a medically induced coma for a week after a medically induced error; recovery continued with Michelle keeping close watch from E.R.  to discharge. I was short oxygen for longer than recommend but held fast to my brief manifesto advocating ALWAYS BREATHE.

There have been some losses and new limitations especially in cognition, but really no-one will tell, plus I scored 27 out of 30 on the remembery test


We were thrown for another loop when our Bernese Mountain dog Deefer died in late September, very quickly. His absence had a great impact on Michelle and Victor who related to his warmth and good-hearted goofiness. We feel that we are months behind where we want to be, but glad for all the work and love we have for 2023.

We adopted a rescue dog from Texas we named Leo, changing it unilaterally from Cowboy. WE are training him, and we are getting to know him in return. Snow, initially a mystery, is now a great place to play with leaps matching the changing temps. I am less helpful with a fractured shoulder or just plain shitty shoulder, likely from an overextension, ranking up the painometer.

IN 18 months, despite nearly dying we have been able to secure (for me, the new kid) a GP, an in-person psychiatrist, a place for physical therapy, another for massage, participation at the Pain Clinic which handles cortisone shots and vetting my pain management strategies, a dentist I see less often than I should. A huge thank you to our caregivers Courtney who finished her education degree and is relocating, two other students Jayden and Jarod led by Davina keep our care of the highest calibre. Thanks to everyone that’s helped us this year. More opportunities are sure to arise.

I was awarded a Canada Council for the Arts grant to present a multi-media disability arts exhibition based on my writing, this coming April. We will feature sculpture by Ken Gregory, Leigh Konyk, Grace Nickel, Nicole Shimonek, performances by Leanne Zacharias, Chris Bauer, Andrea Von Wichert, and a triptych by Murray Toews who has worked with me now for over 10 years.

Michelle is busy with Disability Without Poverty as the Canada Disability Benefit creeps closer to reality. She went to Ottawa in October to speak to politicians directly for early passage. We will push harder for Bill 22 to become law early in 2023. Michelle is a PhD candidate now, but with Leo’s help and Victor’s interruptions will be completed in no time!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Michelle, Victor, and Leo

BACK STORY Well and there’s another idea, a story about my back.

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.

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 collection Love & Surgery was published by Radiant Press ion September 2019.

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 received a Canada Council for the Arts grant  as a deaf and disability artist in 2020 for a new project called Listen,Here, now called ListenHear. You can follow my progress on this website under the ListenHear tab. With the arrival of Covid-19, many writers and artists, including me starting making work available virtually as solo artists. Check out my Abject Alphabet for the results!

Land acknowledgement: Respectfully acknowledging that I live and work in the unceded and ancestral territory of the Syilx peoples. 

See Victor on Facebook.



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