Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997

Kate Cayley

Kate Cayley
Photo by Carmen Farrell

Kate Cayley is a fiction writer, playwright, and poet. She has written a short story collection, How You Were Born , two collections of poetry, When This World Comes to an End and Other Houses , a young adult novel, The Hangman in the Mirror, and a number of plays, both traditional and experimental. She has won the Trillium Book Award, the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction, an O. Henry Short Story Prize, and a Chalmers Fellowship, and been a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the K. M. Hunter Award, and the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award, and long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize and the CBC Prize in both poetry and fiction.

She was the co-founder and artistic director of Stranger Theatre from 2001-2011, and co-created, directed and wrote eight plays with the company; her work with Stranger Theatre was performed in Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City and Istanbul, among other places. She was a playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre from 2009-2017, and wrote two plays for Tarragon, After Akhmatova , and The Bakelite Masterpiece , which went on to multiple American productions. She has an ongoing writing collaboration with immersive theatre company Zuppa Theatre, most recently on The Archive of Missing Things and This Is Nowhere. Her short stories, poems and essays have appeared in a wide variety of magazines and anthologies, including Best Canadian Poetry. She has been writer in residence at McMaster University, and mentored emerging writers through the University of Guelph Creative Writing MFA, the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, Diaspora Dialogues, and Sisters Writes. She lives in Toronto with her wife and their three children. Her second short story collection, Householders , is published by Biblioasis.

Writers Festival Appearances