Jenna Butler is the author of three critically acclaimed books of poetry, Seldom Seen Road, Wells, and Aphelion; an award-winning collection of ecological essays, A Profession of Hope: Farming on the Edge of the Grizzly Trail; and a new travelogue, Magnetic North: Sea Voyage to Svalbard. Her sixth book, a collection of essays titled Revery: A Year of Bees, is forthcoming from Wolsak and Wynn in 2020.
Butler weaves literary and scholarly work together with lived experience on the land. Her research into endangered environments has taken her from America’s Deep South to Ireland’s Ring of Kerry, and from Tenerife to the Arctic Circle, exploring the ways in which we navigate the landscapes we call home. She is a professor of creative writing and environmental writing at Red Deer College, and lives with three resident moose and a den of coyotes on an off-grid organic farm in Alberta’s North Country.
Butler was born in Norwich, England and spent her early years in the tiny Norfolk parish of Forncett St. Peter. Her parents dreamed of creating a sustainable off-grid life, but the necessity of caring for elderly family members in Canada and finding a safe place to raise their multi-ethnic children spurred her parents to move to Alberta in the early 80s. Butler grew up within Edmonton’s vibrant literary community, but always possessed the desire to return to life on the land.