Alice MajorAlice Major has published eight collections of poetry and a novel for young adults, and served as the first poet laureate for the city of Edmonton from 2005-2007.

She came to Edmonton the long way round. She grew up in Dumbarton, Scotland –a small town on the banks of the Clyde, not far from Glasgow.

Her family came to Canada when she was eight, and she grew up in Toronto before coming west to work as a reporter on The Williams Lake Tribune in British Columbia. She has been an active supporter of the arts and writing community:

  • Past president of the League of Canadian Poets,
  • Past president of the Writers Guild of Alberta,
  • Past chair of the Edmonton Arts Council.
  • Founder, Edmonton Poetry Festival

Books published

  • Memory’s Daughter, Edmonton, University of Alberta Press, 2008
  • The Office Tower Tales, Edmonton, University of Alberta Press, 2008
  • The Occupied World, Edmonton, University of Alberta Press, 2006
  • Some Bones and a Story, Toronto, Wolsak and Wynn, 2001
  • No Monster, Victoria, Poppy Press, 2001
  • Corona Radiata, Toronto, St. Thomas Press, 2000
  • Tales for an Urban Sky. Fredricton: Broken Jaw Press, 1999.
  • Lattice of the Years. Calgary: Bayeux Arts, 1999.
  • Complete within herself (chapbook). Victoria: Hawthorne Society, 1997.
  • Time Travels Light. Edmonton: Rowan, 1992.
  • The Chinese Mirror. Toronto: Clarke Irwin, 1988. 


  • Winner, Pat Lowther Award, for The Office Tower Tales, 2009
  • Winner, Alberta Book Publishers Association Trade Book of the Year (fiction) for The Office Tower Tales, 2009
  • Winner, “Poetics of Space” competition, 2004 (Sponsored by CV2)
  • Shortlisted, Pat Lowther Award, for Some Bones and a Story, 2002 (National award for best book of poetry by a Canadian woman)
  • Winner, Malahat Review Long Poem Competition, 2001
  • Winner, Poets Corner Award, for Tales for an Urban Sky, 1999.
  • Shortlisted, City of Edmonton Book Prize, for Lattice of the Years, 1999, Tales for an Urban Sky, 2000 and The Office Tower Tales, 2009
  • Shortlisted, Stephan G. Stephanson Award, Writers Guild of Alberta, for Tales for an Urban Sky, 2000; and The Occupied World, 2007.
  • Winner, Shaunt Basmajian Chapbook Competition, for Scenes from the Sugar Bowl Café, 1998
  • Winner, Alberta Writing for Youth Competition, for The Chinese Mirror, 1988.  
  • Finalist, Canadian Library Association Book of the Year, for The Chinese Mirror, 1988


Poems have appeared in the following periodicals:

Amethyst Review; Antigonish Review; Arc; CV2; Dandelion; Descant; Event; The Fiddlehead; Grain; Hysteria (U.S.);  Literary Review of Canada, Malahat Review; The New Quarterly; NewWest Review; Northward Journal; On Spec; Orbis (U.K.); Other Voices; People’s Poetry Letter; Poetry Canada Review; Pottersfield Portfolio; The Prairie Journal; Prism; Quarry; Queen’s Quarterly; Room of One’s Own; Secrets from the Orange Couch; Stand Magazine (U.K.); Wascana Review; Waves; Whetstone 

 Current Memberships:
  • The Writers Union of Canada
  • The League of Canadian Poets
  • Writers Guild of Alberta
  • Edmonton Arts Council

Take the Poetry Route (Edmonton’s Transit Poetry Project)

  • Steering committee chair (1999-present)

Edmonton Arts Council 

  • Board member 1996
  • Chair, arts peer review jury 1998-99 and 1999-2000;
  • Chair, 1999-2000
  • City of Edmonton 

    Member, peer review jury to award municipal grants-in-aid, 1995-6

    Member, Honour Awards Selection committee (arts & culture subcommittee) – 2002-present

    The Books Collective

    • Founding member of Edmonton publishing collective 1991-96

    Benefit readings

    • “Harp & Words” performances with Nora Bumanis, principle harpist, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, for various local causes

    Teaching credits

    Numerous sessions for schools and young writers’ conferences in Alberta on writing poetry and fantasy Young Writers’ Conferences, including:

    • 3-2-1 Write (Edmonton Public School Board) – 1989 and 1990
    • Write-on (St. Albert Catholic School Board) – 1992 and 1993
    • All Write (St. Albert Protestant School Board) – 1993, 1994 and 1995
    • Leadworks (Edmonton Public Schools) – 1995
    • MADD Day (Virginia Park School) – 2004 and 2005.
    • Creative-writing seminars for adults in Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Drayton Valley and other Alberta communities
    • Writer-in-residence, Writers Guild of Alberta retreats program, 1992
    • Creative writing instructor, Lakeland College Summer Program, 1993 and 1994
    • Poetry instructor, Edmonton Public School Board extension program, 1995, 1996, 1997
    • Workshops, Grant McEwen Community College, 1996
    • Writer-in-residence, Grant McEwen Community College, 1998


    • BA. (English, history) – Trinity College, University of Toronto


    • Juror, Alberta Foundation for the Arts writers awards, 1998
    • Juror, Saskatchewan Book of the Year, 2002
    • Jury chair, Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award (sponsored by the Writers Trust of Canada), 2004
    • Canada Council for the Arts – Senior Writer’s Grant, 2007
    • Juror, Frontenac House “Dektet” competition, 2009
    • ATCO Gas Lifetime Achievement Award (awarded during the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts), 2010