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 has 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, which was a finalist for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award. 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 in music, Jan in 36 Pieces, which was released by  The Porcupine’s Quill in June of 2018. The Mozart Girl, a reissue by Second Story Press of a children’s novel, is forthcoming in spring 2019.


Jan in 35 Pieces, a memoir in music by the cellist Ian Hampton and edited by Barbara, was released by The Porcupine’s Quill in June 2018, with launches at the Canadian Music Centre in Vancouver and at the Langley Community Music School. It’s now available at a bookstore near you, on Amazon, or order online from the publisher.

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A Boy Asked the Wind

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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