Barbara Nickel

Corona: Sonnets in Situ

Mary Dalton, the Poet Laureate of the City of St. John’s, called the “Corona” series from Barbara’s third collection, Essential Tremor “…likely to stand among the finest (most nuanced) art to emerge from this harrowing time.”

Barbara made an “in situ” video reading of this crown of twelve of the thirteen linked sonnets about the COVID-19 pandemic for the Virtual Abby Theatre Festival that was broadcast in October, 2020. Locations range from the tracks above her town of Yarrow, B.C., to UBC’s Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, to an airplane (or so it seems). And of course, look for the surprise and perfectly timed beaver entrance in Sonnet #3 (Spring).


Dear Peter, Dear Ulla has been selected as a finalist for the 2023/2024 Chocolate Lily Book Award. 

Barbara’s poem “Three-in-One,” originally published in Grain Magazine, has recently appeared in Best Canadian Poetry 2024  (Biblioasis) edited by Bardia Sinaee.

Check out Barbara’s 45-minute teaching video on Creating Believable Characters for the BC and Yukon Book Prizes’ In Class video library.

Dear Peter, Dear Ulla was a finalist for the 2022 Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People.

Dear Peter, Dear Ulla has been nominated for the 2023 Rocky Mountain Book Award (Alberta Young Readers Choice Award).

The Manitoba Young Readers Choice Awards (MYRCA) has nominated Dear Peter, Dear Ulla as a 2023 Northern Lights (Grades 7-9) finalist!

Essential Tremor reviewed in The Vancouver Sun. Read full review here.

Dear Peter, Dear Ulla is reviewed and “Highly Recommended” in CM (Canadian Review of Materials)! Read the full review here.

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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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