Barbara Nickel

About the Author


Barbara Nickel grew up in Saskatchewan and attended Goshen College in Indiana, where she studied music (violin) and English literature. She received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, where she also taught. Barbara writes for adults and young people. Her poetry for adults had been published in many anthologies and magazines, including The Walrus and Poetry Ireland Review. One of her poetry collections, The Gladys Elegies, received the Pat Lowther Award for the best book of poetry by a woman in Canada.
Her children’s titles include Hannah Waters and the Daughter of Johann Sebastian Bach, which won a B.C. Book Prize and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award, as well as a picture book, A Boy Asked the Wind, currently shortlisted for the Chocolate Lily and the Rocky Mountain Book Awards. Barbara lives in Yarrow, British Columbia with her husband and two sons, and is at work on a young adult novel, an eco-poetry book for children, and a poetry book for adults. She is the editor of the cellist Ian Hampton’s memoir, Jan in 36 Pieces, which is forthcoming with The Porcupine’s Quill in 2018.


Barbara will read her poems written after Haydn’s Seven Last Words this coming Sunday, April 9, 2017 at 2:30 in a concert at the Langley Community Music School featuring the Arietta Strings.

Barbara will give poetry workshops to the Grade 6 classes at Southpointe Academy in Tsawwassen on May 23, 2017.

A Boy Asked the Wind has been selected as a starred choice in Best Books for Kids and Teens 2016 published by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre:



A Boy Asked the Wind has recently been shortlisted for two reader’s choice awards:

The 2017 Chocolate Lily Award (British Columbia) — the winner will be announced at a Gala in Vancouver on June 9, 2017.

The 2017 Rocky Mountain Book Award (Alberta)


A Boy Asked the Wind.

Trailer by Rascal Media

A Boy Asked the Wind was recently reviewed in Quill & Quire:


Barbara speaks about A Boy Asked the Wind on CBC’s North by Northwest.



Video by Shaw TV of Barbara presenting and talking about A Boy Asked the Wind.

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Author Visits

Interested in booking Barbara to visit your school or library? Choose from a wide range of presentations, from poetry workshops to readings of historical fiction.

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