“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 Mount Royal University (Dip. Social Work) and the University of Calgary (B.A. in Sociology, minor in Biological Sciences). I also write poetry, and have been published in journals such as (parenthetical), Riddle Fence, NōD Magazine, and HYSTERIA. My third chapbook, a peal of thunder, a moment of, was published by The Blasted Tree in June 2019.

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.

chapbooks + solo works

a peal of thunder, a moment of

2019 | The Blasted Tree ⤏
my third (!) chapbook is a collection of concrete poetry based on Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, the piece I was listening to the moment my grandmother died. infinite thanks to Kyle Flemmer for loving this project as much as I do!

t\here: two-homed tales

2017 | Loft on Eighth Press
t\here: two-homed tales is an exploration of what it means to exist as both a Calgarian and a Newfoundlander on Treaty 7 land. many thanks especially to Catherine Beaudette, Colette Laliberté, Margaret Ryall, and Lisa Murphy-Lamb.

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

rhythm, in Our Bodies Our Blood

2015 | artwork Ⓒ Sam Logan

hips, in HYSTERIA Online

2015 | artwork Ⓒ Catherine Williams


my (small press) writing day ⤏

2019 | photography Ⓒ me
rob mclennan asked me to write a piece for his (small press) writing day project! I wrote about imposter syndrome and weeding, and I’m very excited about it.

To-Read Pile: 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.