Robert Hilles

Poetry / Fiction

Robert Hilles was born in Kenora Ontario and graduated from the University of Calgary with a MSc. He was active in the writing scene in Calgary for over 30 years and was the Managing Editor of Dandelion Magazine for ten years. He moved to the west coast in 2001 and lives in Nanaimo. He has a daughter and a son and two granddaughters. He won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry for Cantos From A Small Room and his novel, Raising of Voices, won George Bugnet Award. Wrapped Within Again: New and Selected poems, won the Stephan Stephansson Award. His latest novel, A Gradual Ruin, was published by Doubleday Canada and now is in paperback and ebook formats. His 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. He has published twenty-two books including seventeen books of poetry, three works of fiction and two non-fiction books. His latest poetry book is, Shimmer (2019). His novel, Don't Hang Your Soul on That will be published in 2021.

Teaching Philosophy

I came to teaching almost by accident over 30 years and have grown to love it and am forever thankful for that happy accident. I believe everyone learns best when they are in a positive and fun filled environment. I prefer students actively participate in every class too because active students learn best. My desire as teacher is to challenge students and for students to challenge me. For me, it is very important that students think for themselves and feel safe to offer their opinions in every class. Writing is a highly subjective art but there are also many core principles required in order to write well and I focus on both. At the same time I do not believe there is only one way to write and never aim to promote any given school of writing over any others. However, every writer can benefit from constructive feedback and I strive to create an atmosphere in the classroom where students feel comfortable offering and receiving helpful feedback to/from their peers. I always leave each class meeting feeling fuller as a person and I want to each of my students to feel the same.


Website: Robert Hilles