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Kathy Shaidle
Photo credit: Janet Trost

Kathy Shaidle was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1964. After graduating from Cathedral Girls High School, she enrolled in the Media Arts-Writing program at Sheridan College. While there, she made her first sale, to Seventeen. Kathy also received Sheridan's "Most Outstanding Writer" Award upon graduation.

She moved to Toronto in 1985, began working full-time, and enrolled in poetry workshops led by Christopher Dewdney, Roo Borson and Rhea Tregabov. With their encouragement, Kathy began publishing regularly in periodicals like What!, This Magazine, Poetry Toronto and Poetry Canada Review.

Through her involvement in the 1980s peace movement, Kathy met author/activist Maggie Helwig; Maggie published two chapbooks of Kathy's poetry (Gas Stations of the Cross and Round Up the Usual Suspects) through her micro-press, LowLife.

In 1989, Kathy became Production Manager at Catholic New Times, an independent, progressive national paper co-founded by Mary Jo Leddy.

Two years later, Kathy received a number of Ontario Arts Council grants, including a Work-in-Progress, to finish her first poetry collection. She left CNT in May 1991 to write full-time, and six weeks later she was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythamatosis (SLE), a chronic, incurable autoimmune disease.

Catholic New Times asked Kathy to write "a couple of articles" about her life with lupus. These pieces proved so popular that Kathy continued her saga in almost every issue of CNT for the next four years. During that time, she received four Canadian Church Press awards in three different categories, as well as invitations to speak, and dozens of enthusiastic calls and letters.

After spending those four years on government disability, Kathy returned to the work-force as Marketing Co-ordinator at Novalis, Canada's oldest and largest Roman Catholic publisher. She is also enrolled in the Publishing program at Ryerson.

The poetry collection Kathy "started to finish" in 1991—Lobotomy Magnificat—was published by Oberon in 1997, and shortlisted for the Governor General's Award. Kathy's CNT columns, God Rides a Yamaha, were published by Northstone in 1998.

Kathy Shaidle's works copyright © to the author.

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