Johanna Skibsrud was born in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1980. She completed her BA in English Literature from the University of Toronto, her MA in English and Creative Writing from Concordia University in Montreal, and is currently completing her PhD in English Literature at the Université de Montréal, with a focus on the poetry of Wallace Stevens. She has held a variety of different jobs in the meantime, including working with youth at risk in the Canadian arctic, as a wilderness instructor in Florida and Maine, teaching ESL in Asia, and as a sales associate for Canadian Scholars’ Press and Women’s Press in Toronto.
Her first book of poetry, Late Nights With Wild Cowboys, was published in 2008 and shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award for the best first book of poetry by a Canadian poet. A second book of poetry, I Do Not Think That I Could Love a Human Being, was published in April, 2010 and was short-listed for the 2011 Atlantic Poetry Prize.
Her debut novel, The Sentimentalists, was awarded the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize, making her the youngest writer to ever win Canada’s most prestigious literary prize. In September 2011, Hamish Hamilton Canada published her first collection of short stories, This Will Be Difficult to Explain and Other Stories.
Johanna currently lives in Tucson, Arizona and is working on a second novel.