Poetry by Michelle

Blind Glory

A man sleeps on the sidewalk
beneath the window
of Sleep Country
twenty empty mattresses
illuminated above his head
behind tempered glass

drunks who smell
like rotting roses
slouch barefoot
in front of Shoe Outlet

garbage picked over by crows
and desperate men
piss and broken glass
walk don’t walk
mottled flesh and fancy cars
sweat and exhaust
chewing gum ground into coloured
circles on the pavement

this is how we live together
and share only one blanket

and still the sun rises
proclaiming blind glory.
— Michelle Barker, First Published in Room, 2006

Michelle Barker's books on Goodreads
Old Growth, Clear-Cut: Poems of Haida Gwaii Old Growth, Clear-Cut: Poems of Haida Gwaii
ratings: 1 (avg rating 5.00)

The Beggar King The Beggar King
reviews: 8
ratings: 21 (avg rating 4.00)

Tesseracts 14: Strange Canadian Stories Tesseracts 14: Strange Canadian Stories
reviews: 4
ratings: 15 (avg rating 4.07)

Tesseracts Fifteen: A Case of Quite Curious Tales Tesseracts Fifteen: A Case of Quite Curious Tales
reviews: 4
ratings: 14 (avg rating 3.79)

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Need help with your creative writing? I have worked on a variety of projects including short fiction, a book on cancer recovery, and poetry. I can help you with everything from character development  to the structure of your novel. I can also tackle marketing issues such as query letters and the dreaded novel synopsis.

I charge $40 (Canadian) per hour, but will price larger projects based on word count.  Please use the contact page to get hold of me.

My work to date includes:

  • Research and editing for Vancouver author Sherrill MacLaren on her book, Invisible Power: The Women Who Run Canada (Seal Books, 1991);
  • Editing for Ed Griffin on his books: Prisoners of the Williwaw (Trafford Publishing, 2000) Beyond the Vows (Trafford Publishing, 2001), and Dystopia (Trafford Publishing, 2007).  See www.edgriffin.net for more about these books;
  • Editing for Kathy Scalzo and Sherri Magee (including the book proposal which secured the contract) for Picking Up the Pieces:  Moving Forward After Surviving Cancer (Raincoast Books, 2006) See www.pickingupthepiecescancer.com for more information;
  • Editing for Dr. Deborah Schwartz (Vancouver psychiatrist) on her article, “Obesity as a Consequence of an Addictive Disorder:  A Substance Called Food.” Not yet published.  See www.groupprocess.org for more about Dr. Schwartz and her work;
  • Editing for Nancy Branch on several of her short stories.
  • Editing for Marnie McBean on her non-fiction book, “The Power of More,” published by Greystone Books (2012).



Michelle Barker first took on a short story of mine five years ago when I was just a novice writer. Since that time, and

due in part to her editorial expertise, I have had several stories published in on-line quarterlies and literary magazines.

Michelle’s the best:  a keen eye (without being harshly critical); helpful, astute comments; prompt returns of edited

manuscripts. For these reasons, I continue to solicit her skills.

Nancy Branch

Sherbrooke, Quebec


“I believe that Michelle Barker’s editing of my non-fiction book proposal as well as my book – Picking Up the Pieces, Moving Forward After Cancer – were major contributing factors to the book being chosen for publication by both a Canadian and US publisher! Michelle is a delight to work with.  She is keenly aware of the reader’s perspective and the need for clear writing.  On many occasions, her editions helped my prose “sing”. It is my pleasure to recommend her as an editor.”

Kathy Scalzo

Co-author – Picking Up the Pieces, Moving Forward After Cancer  (Raincoast Books 2006, Rutgers University Press 2007)