CALGARY Triple Book Launch: E. McGregor, Robyn Braun, Tonya Lailey

Thursday, June 13 at 7:00 PM (MDT)
Shelf Life Books
1302 4 St SW 100
Calgary, AB Canada

Join us at Shelf Life Books for a triple book launch featuring What Fills Your House Like Smoke by E. McGregor (Thistledown Press),The Head by Robyn Braun (Great Plains Publications), and Farm: Lot 23 by Tonya Lailey (Gaspereau Press).


On the morning of her thirtieth birthday, Dr. Trish Russo, a math professor at Cascadia University, discovers a disembodied but living infant head on her dresser. Attached to nothing, somehow it still manages to wail and produce tears. Unsure what else to do, she takes it with her to work, if only to keep her neighbours from complaining about the head’s terrible cries.

At the university, her colleagues are mortified, not of the head itself, but that Trish has brought it into the office with her. She is soon put on leave and hopes that visiting her parents might provide some solace and advice on what she should do with the head. But no matter where she turns, Trish finds no help and is instead vilified for not knowing what to do with this impossible thing that has happened to her.

The Head is a bizarre journey through trauma, bad relationships, and toxic workplace culture.

In What Fills Your House Like Smoke, a debut poetry collection, E. McGregor vividly combines an imagined family history with personal memory to excavate concepts of inheritance, motherhood and shame. Beginning and ending at the deathbed of the writer’s Métis grandmother, McGregor composes an incomplete and wildly imaginative biography of the life lived between, interrogated by family photographs, stories, and the scant paper trail she left behind.

Tonya Lailey’s Farm: Lot 23 explores the complex relationship we have with land, particularly as it relates to agriculture. Her poems depict the spectrum of human experience that plays out on the stage of the family farm—love, desperation, triumph, folly, caution, greed—and the real impacts that technology, economics and shifting cultural values have on both the people and the land. Lailey reminds us that the fates of culture and agriculture are inseparable, that “the purpose / of a farm / of a poem / has always been / the living in it.”


Robyn Braun is teaching professor of communications and composition in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta. Her art, fiction, non-fiction and poetry have appeared in various online and print venues. She earned her MFA from UBC’s School of Creative Writing in 2022. The Head is her first book.

E. McGregor is a Euro-Settler/Métis writer currently living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in numerous magazines including Room, The Dalhousie Review, CV2, The Fiddlehead, and others. She obtained a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia in 2022. What Fills Your House Like Smoke is her first poetry collection.

Tonya Lailey spent her childhood on a farm in Niagara-on-the-Lake. She started a winery there in 2000 with her family and winemaker Derek Barnett. Certified as a sommelier, she worked in the wine trade until 2020. In 2022, she received an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. She currently lives in Calgary with her two daughters and writes poetry, essays and children’s fiction. This is her first book of poetry. 

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top