Books Published

Posted: October 10, 2012 in

Slow AscentCantos

  1. Look The Lovely Animal Speaks, Turnstone Press, 1980 ISBN 0-88801-053-2
  2. The Surprise Element, Sidereal Press, 1982.
  3. An Angel In The Works, Oolichan Books, 1983, ISBN 0-88982-052-X
  4. Outlasting The Landscape, Thistledown Press, 1989, ISBN 0-920633-61-7
  5. Finding The Lights On, Wolsak and Wynn, 1991, ISBN 0-919897-27-4
  6. A Breath At A Time, Oolichan Books, 1992, ISBN0-88982-110-0
  7. Cantos From A Small Room, Wolsak and Wynn, 1993, ISBN 0-919897-37-1
  8. Raising Of Voices, Black Moss Press, 1993 (Novel), ISBN 0-88753-272-1
  9. Near Morning, Black Moss Press, 1995 (Short Stories), ISBN 0-88753-271-3
  10. Nothing Vanishes, Wolsak and Wynn, 1996, ISBN 0-919897-52-5
  11. Kissing the Smoke, Black Moss Press, 1996 (Non Fiction), ISBN 0-88753-283-7
  12. Breathing Distance, Black Moss Press, 1997, ISBN 0-88753-297-7
  13. Somewhere Between Obstacles and Pleasure, Black Moss Press, 1999, ISBN 0-88753-327-2
  14. Higher Ground, River Books, 2001, ISBN 1-895836-80-8
  15. Wrapped Within Again, New and Selected Poems, Black Moss Press, 2003, ISBN 0-88753-384-1
  16. A Gradual Ruin, Doubleday Canada, 2004 (Novel), ISBN 0-385-65962-8
  17. Calling the Wild, Black Moss Press, 2005 (Non-fiction), ISBN 0-88753-411-2
  18. Slow Ascent, Black Moss Press, 2006 (Poetry), ISBN 0-88753-428-7
  19. Partake, Black Moss Press, 2010 (Poetry)
  20. Time Lapse, Black Moss Press, 2012 (Poetry)
  21. Line, Black Moss Press, March 2018 (Poetry)
  22. Little Pink Houses, short story collection near completion
  23. Don’t Hang Your Soul On That, novel set in Thailand near completion
  24. One of Not Many, book of love poems in the works
  25. One True Note, novel set in Thailand and in the works



This love poem is from Somewhere Between Obstacles and Pleasure published in 1999 by Black Moss Press. Here is a link to me reading this poem:  AuthorsAloud and my reading on YouTube: 

Shaped by the Wind

We drive north of Carbondale Lookout
and pass trees shaped by the prevailing wind.
Beneath the surface history grows
and the earth collects each thing that dies
willing to hold all that time has let loose.

Pine trees lean east as if in motion
caught mid flight like fleeing animals,
except, unlike us, trees and plants
are joined to the earth
by restless roots
grasping dark soil.

You drive briskly
and lean over to squeeze my knee.
You say I love you,
and I forget history boiling beneath us,
forget the birth of coal,
think only of your warm hand,
as it seeks
the soft spot above my knee
pushing gently
like a root taking hold.

Cover of Cantos

This latest poem is from Cantos from a Small Room published in 1993 by Wolsak and Wynn.

God Is The Smallest Object

God is the smallest object in a room. Some of us see it and speak to it as if it were a pet or a lover. Others imagine it was bigger and could not fit into this room at all. Others still fall in love with it and take it to bed with them every night. Some of us can’t even get into the room at all and must stare at the object from the doorway like a prisoner staring at the sea from their cell window. This object does not move or breathe or even love. It merely thinks about ways to get out of this room for good. It thinks about wings about legs about fingers but none of them is adequate. In the end this object decides that it is stuck in this room for good. Those that truly love it will pick it up and throw it out the window. Those who despise it will try to hide it beneath some large piece of furniture. Most of us, however, will take no notice of it merely sit next to it once in a while and glance at if from the corner of our eyes hoping that sometime we will discover what to do with it.

Poem for Week of May 7th 2007:

Slow Ascent

Here’s a poem from my new book Slow Ascent published Oct 2006 by Black Moss Press:

50 Varieties of Apples

For Pearl

Fat, King apples ripen
on trees facing Long Harbour Road
50 varieties grow on Salt Spring
and each fall
they redden leafless branches.
Yesterday we lay in bed reading,
your slender fingers
traveled my body
and for a time we let go.
Like those autumn apples
we surrendered
to this uneven passing of summer.

I focused on your fingers
tried to anticipate their path
but I guessed wrong.
Yet that is love, too,
always guessing
what the other will do next
finding worthiness in that one riddle.

Today the sight of those
near-ripe apples reminds me
how their ripening
measures the year
in weather and light,
and how the earth remembers,
each hour shed
of memory and time.
Even as I hold them
their flesh grows
brown in my hand.

Writing Links

Posted: May 4, 2007 in

Robert Hilles

Here are some key links related to my writing:

My Wikipedia Entry

My YouTube Channel

My Wattpad Page

Black Moss Press

Doubleday Canada

Wolsak and Wynn

Reading Shaped by the Wind

Reading of A Punishing God

Reading of Then

Reading of Winter Hours

Reading of Ode to Death

Reading of Thai Farmer Four Hands

Reading of A Long Row Of Days

Welcome to the Website of Robert Hilles Canadian Poet and NovelistRobert Hilles Poet and Novelist

I live on Salt Spring Island with my partner Pearl Luke. In 1994, I won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry for Cantos From A Small Room. In the same year, my first novel, Raising of Voices, won the Writers Guild of Alberta George Bugnet Award for best novel. I have published thirteen books of poetry and five books of prose. My other books include: Finding The Lights On, Near Morning, Nothing Vanishes, Kissing The Smoke, Breathing Distance, Somewhere Between Obstacles and Pleasure, Higher Ground, Wrapped Within Again and Slow Ascent. Wrapped Within Again, New and Selected Poems was published in the fall of 2003 and won the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for best book of poetry. My second novel, A Gradual Ruin, was published by Doubleday Canada in 2004 and now is in paperback. My books have also been shortlisted for The Milton Acorn People’s Poetry Prize, The W.O. Mitchell/City of Calgary Prize, The Stephan Stephansson Award, and The Howard O’Hagan Award. My second non-fiction book, Calling The Wild, was published in the fall of 2005 from Black Moss Press. My thirteenth book of poetry, Slow Ascent, was published in the fall of 2006. I am currently at work on a new novel titled Solo and a collection of Short Stories.