Leslie Vryenhoek - Biographical Notes
Official Bio (2017)
Leslie Vryenhoek is the acclaimed author of Ledger of the Open Hand (a novel), Scrabble Lessons (fiction) and Gulf (poetry). Her essays and articles have been published and broadcast across Canada and internationally, and she has won numerous awards for her fiction and poetry. Leslie's diverse communications career has focused on strategic planning, economic and employment issues, advanced education and disaster response.
The Longer Story
Leslie Vryenhoek's fiction, poetry and memoir explore the landscape of intimate relationships and what it means to belong to a place, a family, a time. Central to her work are questions of power, balance and the uneven hand of fortune.
Leslie grew up in the suburban south hills of Pittsburgh, in a Canadian family where dinner napkins were "serviettes" but the opinions expressed around the table were exceptionally American and the debates were lively.
Bored with manicured lawns and her predictable future, Leslie dreamed of living somewhere interesting, of writing books and pursuing lofty notions of do-goodedness. Her parents said Get a real job. (It turned out to be good advice.)
On summer visits to Manitoba as a teenager, Leslie fell in love with the prairie and opted to return to the place her parents had fled. She completed a bachelor of arts at the University of Manitoba, and lived for many years in Winnipeg. Real jobs included communications and public relations for the University of Winnipeg and the Canadian Red Cross.
In 2005, Leslie relocated to St. John's, Newfoundland (it's a long story, one with a U-Haul and a few sharp corners). There, Leslie leapt into the community. She is the founding director of Piper's Frith: Writing at Kilmory, a past president of the Literary Arts Foundation of NL, and served on the editorial board of Riddle Fence: A Journal of Arts and Culture. She was also a director for the St. John's International Women's Film Festival.
As a writer, editor and communications consultant, Leslie offers professional support to organizations, publishers and individuals.
Leslie is married to journalist and author Russell Wangersky. They have, between them, four children, a grandson, and lively political debates over the dinner table.