White Rock-raised Timothy Shay left home to travel extensively in Canada. Before settling back in the Vancouver area, he lived in Nelson B.C., Keno Yukon, as well as Salt Lake City Utah. He hosts the monthly Hogan's Alley Open Poetry Readings in Chinatown, and co-hosts the Pandora's Colective Twisted Poets series at the Prophouse on Venebles. Earlier, in Nelson, Shay hosted a reading series for 22 years. He is also the former editor of Horsefly Literary Magazine.

About the difference between Nelson and Vancouver, he is quoted in the Surrey Muse blog: "Nature in Nelson is fabulous, and there is much opportunity for solitude and the reflections accompanying it. On the other hand, Vancouver is like living in an active theatre and hive of artists... MacLeod's Books and the Public Library are fine institutions and the apparent level of support for the arts in Vancouver, while cliquey, tends toward health."

At the time of publication of his poetry book, The Dirty Knees of Prayer (Caitlin Press 2016) he had one other collection of poems and five poetry chapbooks to his credit.

A review of The Dirty Knees of Prayer by fellow B.C. poet Tom Wayman says that these poems "reveal lives illuminated by a bleak light: he is not afraid to portray 'the corners where dark night / stores its darker hollows.' Yet the tough vision of dysfunction the poems offer-'a family where everyone broken / reached out to everyone broken'-is redeemed by a sparkling precision of observation and a confident deployment of language. Shay can capture a landscape during a specific moment in late autumn as accurately as any camera: 'Snow did not give / yellow leaves the time to depart.' The indifference of nature, or the divine, to human failings or suffering is encapsulated with reference to 'the Earless Infinite.' An elegy for a miner father, stoic in the face of a fatal occupational disease ('always silence leading to silence'), ends with a powerful haiku-like image: 'No one returns to the empty chair. / The shadow there appears to give speeches.' Indeed, all Shay's poems in The Dirty Knees of Prayer give eloquent voice to darkness, while the poet's command of craft lets us listen absorbedly to the wisdom and insight his poems have to convey.";


The Dirty Knees of Prayer, (Caitlin Press 2016) $18 978-1-987915082

The Bodisattva of Rags (Elephant Mountain Press), Illustrations by Jessica McVicker, 2nd edition 2012

[BCBW 2016]