“what a nerd.” – katie’s wife

Hi there! I'm katie o’brien (they/them), a community worker, queer activist, and Netflix enthusiast living and working in Mohkínstsis (Calgary). I am a recent graduate of the University of Calgary (B.A. in Sociology, minor in Biological Sciences) and Mount Royal University (Dip. Social Work), and am passionate about sex education and LGBTQ2IA+ rights. I also write poetry, and have been published in journals such as (parenthetical), Riddle Fence, NōD Magazine, and HYSTERIA. My second chapbook, t\here, was published by Loft on Eighth Press in January 2017.

photography Ⓒ Mehenaz Moutusi, 2016I am a white settler originally from St. John’s, Ktaqamkuk (the Mi’kmaq name for the island colonially known as Newfoundland), on the unceded territory of the Beothuk. I live and work on the territory of the Niitsitapi, comprising the Siksika, the Piikani, and the Kainai; the peoples of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, including the Tsuut’ina and the Ĩyãħé Nakoda First Nations, comprising the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations; and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III. I am committed to addressing the legacy of violence that social work as a profession has perpetrated (and continues to perpetrate) against Indigenous peoples in my learning and in my work.

chapbooks + solo works

t\here: two-homed tales

2017 | Loft on Eighth Press
my second (!) chapbook is an exploration of what it means to exist as both a Calgarian on Treaty 7 land and a diasporic Newfoundlander. this book was written during my 2 Rooms Contemporary Art Projects residency in 2016; many thanks especially to Catherine Beaudette, Colette Laliberté, Margaret Ryall, and Lisa Murphy-Lamb.

a Little Golden Book of   eating disorders

2015 | self-published
a Little Golden Book of   eating disorders is a reflection of my struggles with binge eating disorder. drawn from online journal entries from 2013/14, the poems in this work betray the persistent, patterned, and addictive thought processes experienced in my most unhealthy moments.

read my poetry

crabstone, nowhere steps, & skerwink, in Riddle Fence ⤏

2016 | performance Ⓒ Coral Short, photography Ⓒ Devon Crosby

abandonment issues & reflection, in Murmur House ⤏

2016 | artwork Ⓒ Kevin Ng

this is not about virginity, in Birds We Piled Loosely ⤏

2016 | artwork Ⓒ James Scales, ed. with permission by Nicole Letson


To-Read Pile, Ep. 3: It Watches Every Move You Make ⤏

2018 | artwork Ⓒ Cathy Hookey
my friend Erin Bardua interviewed me for her rad new podcast, in which she reads chapter three of The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and we chat about creepy lit and horror on TV.