Ali Riley (Nanton)



Ali Riley’s first poetry collection, Wayward, was short-listed for the Gerald Lampert Memorial award, and her second, Tear Down, was short-listed for the Re-Lit award. She was born in Calgary and was the singer/songwriter of the seminal psycho-country band Sacred Heart of Elvis. In Toronto her produced plays included dog dream, and her Marquis de Sade trilogy Philosophy in the Bedroom, Hole in My Heart the Size of My Heart and Schadenfreude Funhaus. She won a Dora Mavor Moore award for best performance and learned valuable acting skills such as Flamenco Dance and chewing on a pig’s heart while crawling through broken glass.

She was a contestant in the BookTelevision reality show The Three Day Novel Contest, met and married her co-contestant Darren Zenko and won the Walrus Magazine/SLS literary contest with her three-day novel, Hag.

Her writing has appeared in Geist, The nth Position Anthology, Matrix, This Magazine, Event, The Moosehead Review, Alberta Views and Walrus. Her third book, 33 Million Solitudes, explores Canadian themes of isolation and survival with a 21st century twist, and re-imagines the fur trade as a modern metaphor for love. She has started a reading series, Trading Company, in her home in Nanton, Alberta. It debuted in October with readings and chants by Jordan Zinovich, a co-founder of Autonomedia in Brooklyn, NY.