"Edson’s vivid portrayal of the urban area, as well as the working class and underclass, creates a vision of Saint John that highlights the discrepancy between the pre-modern idyllic notion of life in Atlantic Canada and the more complicated reality of the region."

-The New Brunswick Literary Encyclopedia

Sunday, December 22, 2019


This is going to be a rewrite year for me; DOGS IN HEAT is on its final, final stage. LAMB TO THE SLAUGHTER will get its first proper rewrite and sit pretty as a somewhat polished second draft. ANIMALS will get its first thorough read-through and its first proper rewrite.

I'm thinking any new original work will begin in 2021; a new novel hasn't found me yet, but I'm feeling some sporadic itchings, so it's only a matter of time. For now it's cleanup time. By the end of 2020, I will have hopefully found a home for Dogs, and have two others approaching the queue.

The older I get, the less inclined I am to rush my work. My first novel was nearly 20 years ago and I rushed it and it reads as such. I just wanted to be published. That was it. But I was young; part of the process of trying to find my way in this strange bubble of being a writer. Now all I care about is getting it right. DOGS IN HEAT has been a project of mine for over 20 years now, going all the way back to my Carleton days. It has evolved into what I first envisioned while working my shift that one afternoon in the Fiction section at the South Keys Chapters; that lightbulb moment: "What if God?..."

There's something to be said about the intimacy of an unpublished manuscript. It really feels like a part of you; a secret side, as intimate as the voice in your head; your other you. Once it's published, you lose that. But it's a nice problem to have. I won't complain if 2020 is the year I unleash the DOGS and set them free. They're ready, finally, and so am I.  


Thursday, July 11, 2019

2019 progress...

After a down year in writing in 2018 (I wrote the first draft of a novella titled ANIMALS but that's it), I made a New Year's Resolution to write an average of a page per day each month. I started a new novel on January 3rd and have never looked back. It's titled LAMB TO THE SLAUGHTER, is set in my hometown of Streetsville, ON, and I'm flying through it. I'm expecting to have a completed first draft by the end of August. Expected word count is around 90,000; the biggest by far of any of my previous novels, which are all around 53,000 words (with the exception of DOGS IN HEAT at 63,000).

My novels: The Making of Harry Cossaboom (Dreamcatcher Publishing, 2000), The Dirty Milkman (Oberon Press, 2005), A Place of Pretty Flowers (Oberon Press, 2007), The Goon (Oberon Press, 2010), The Moon is Real (UFP, 2016)

In the Fall I plan on a complete rewrite of DOGS IN HEAT. I'm in a good place right now and I'll be in a good place for a while; sitting on three complete manuscripts; one needing a bit more work, and the other two in their infancy. I'm in no hurry to publish again; five novels in and I'm learning what kind of writer I want to be and what kind of press I want to be with, regardless of the time and effort it's going to take to get there. After I put in the work over the winter I'm hoping to have some big news in the Spring. That's the goal.

Whatever happens, 2019 has been productive for me. I'm happy with my work, and that's all that really matters.

An earlier version of Dogs in Heat, along with Animals, and Lamb to the Slaughter

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

New work in progress, ANIMALS, underway...

Over the past winter/spring/summer I've been working on a new book, a short novel, with a working title of ANIMALS and I'm hoping to have a first draft complete by September. It's a weird one, but fitting that it should follow up the weirdness of Dogs in Heat. After this I think I'll be bringing things back more toward my first five novels, but with a setting in my hometown of Streetsville, ON, and not Saint John. It'll be my first book of this kind not set in Saint John but I've lived in Streetsville long enough to write about it, and what a little gem of a place it will be to write about.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Art of Words: Ken Pobo’s Loplop in a Red City

Ken Pobo delights in his latest collection, Loplop in a Red City. Like a carefully guided tour through an art gallery, Pobo takes us from room to room, and each with a different view. His work continues to use language to its full potential. His simplicity, his directness to the words are what I enjoy most about his work. There’s no ego here; it’s laid bare, without any ribbons or bows, and in that simplicity, somehow more complex than most.

…My aunt Cass

looked dour too,

died a millionaire,

not in money, but in her thimble


Pobo’s reflections on life and death, told through the minds of various artists, is built too with a subtle hand. From Van Gogh in the Hague to his death in Auvers, Pobo weaves a visual experience for the reader:

Crows took his body up to Heaven—

a small room,

an easel, good bread on the table,

wine. A small flock got him there.

Loplop in a Red City is a much different collection than the one I previously reviewed here, Booking Rooms in the Kuiper Belt; it’s not as rhythmically rendered; the language is more direct, but this is to be expected; here is art in words, where the previous collection brought us, quite literally, on a whimsical tour of the celestial flow of the universe. But it’s equal in execution, and Pobo’s talents for finding the right words, his precision as an artist, sing from the canvas in this collection.    

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

GORD DOWNIE IS ALL OF US (a poem for a poet)

Gord Downie is all of us

He's our winter jacket
Our frozen mitts
Our sneakers in the snow
Our Hockey Night in Canada
And all the things we know

He's our 99
Our 87
His beloved #4
Our Bob and Harry in the booth
Our guy who shoots and scores

He's our Stanley Cup
Our morning skate
Our mullets fit to groom
Our local minor hockey teams
Our beers in dressing rooms

He's our bonfire chairs
Our Blue Jays games
Our fishing at the camp
Our CBC, our Double-Double
Our card games 'round a lamp

He's our Bay of Fundy
Our Hudson Bay
Our tides and waves and breaks
Our rivers, streams, and puddles too
He's all of our Great Lakes

He's our Group of Seven
Our Hugh MacLennan
Our Atwood and MacLeod
Our David Adams Richards
And all who make us proud

He's our Secret Path
Our dew in grass
Our sunlight and our glow
Our morning rain
Our pleasure pain
He's everyone you know

He's our 401
Our CN Tower
Our fields and forests too
He's everything Canadian
He's all of me and you

-Jerrod Edson

(We love you, Gord.)

Sunday, August 14, 2016


A great turnout yesterday for the launch of The Moon is Real. Lots of friends, lots of fun. A big thank you to my good friend Clive Baugh for a great introduction and all his hard work helping me sell the book.

Introducing the author Hadley Grace Edson

Hemingway step aside; I've got a new favorite author. Let me be the first to introduce to the writerly world my daughter, Hadley Grace Edson. She's six years old and has already started her first book. It's titled "The Stolen Crown" and is full of adventure; there's a stolen crown, a stolen rabbit, and a kidnapped princess! Can it get any better than that?

Friday, August 5, 2016

THE MOON IS REAL available at Amazon

You can now order your copy of The Moon is Real at Amazon by clicking on the link below. (This is the pre-sale; release date is August 15th.)

Click here to order!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Cover for The Moon is Real

Here it is, the cover for my fifth novel, The Moon is Real, by Urban Farmhouse Press. The background pic is of Saint John and the harbour, taken by friend and fellow NB writer Lee Thompson (whose short story I reviewed on this blog a few months ago). The book design was by UFP Editor-in-Chief Daniel Lockhart and he did a fantastic job. I'm very pleased with it and am looking forward to getting the book in my hands and getting it out there. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My secret crush, and one of the best writers of the 20th Century, Jean Rhys.

Curious Connections by Karen Sylvia Rockwell

I’m one of those readers who has several books on the go at once. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m reading all the time, but as busy as life is for me these days, it’s nice to have variety. Fortunately for me, variety is exactly what Karen Rockwell serves up in her new flash fiction chapbook, Curious Connections (Urban Farmhouse Press, 2016). Part of UFP’s Cities of the Straits Chapbook Series, this one doesn’t disappoint.
Right from the first page, Rockwell seamlessly zaps you into her world with “Remembering Corporal Yeryk”; the story of an Afghanistan War vet who has lost his legs and is visiting his daughter’s school to talk to the kids. Rockwell paints a vivid picture of the limbless man struggling to find himself, and all in two-and-a-half pages.
Moving forward to another lovely vignette, the epitaph-like “Knowing Nora” introduces us to a woman whose strength lies in her ability to either mask her worries or shove them down others' throats in typical Scottish bravado. Either way, you’ll find her to be the most interesting character in the book.    
From the curiously connected pseudo-love story, “That’s Amore?”, to the dark humoured “Frankel”, Rockwell does a great job of revealing to readers the (as the back covers says) “disconnect in our modern world”, all the while reminding us that life, with its many curious connections, is such an interesting place to be.
If you’re curious to connect, you can find this title at Urban Farmhouse Press by clicking HERE