Barbara Nickel

Barbara Nickel writes for adults and young people.  Her poetry for adults had been published in many anthologies and magazines, including The Walrus and Poetry Ireland Review. One of her poetry collections, The Gladys Elegies, received the Pat Lowther Award for the best book of poetry by a woman in Canada.

Her children’s titles include Hannah Waters and the Daughter of Johann Sebastian Bach, which won a B.C. Book Prize, as well as being shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award. Barbara’s first picture book, A Boy Asked the Wind, is forthcoming with Red Deer Press in Fall, 2015.

Barbara lives in Yarrow, British Columbia with her husband and two sons, and is at work on an eco-poetry book for children, a children’s novel, a poetry book for adults, and editing the memoir of the cellist Ian Hampton.  Visit the author’s website at


Hannah Waters and the Daughter of Johann Sebastian Bach (Penguin Canada, 2005) Catharina Bach sings only for her mother; she is too frightened of her famous father to even speak, let alone sing. In modern-day Saskatchewan, Hannah Waters struggles to play Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins, one she was to have played with her mother. In this deeply moving novel, Hannah and Catharina will find and help each other discover the music within and the courage to express it.Shortlist, Rocky Mountain Book Award, 2007
Nominee, Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award (MYRCA), 2007
Nominee, BC Chocolate Lily Award, 2006/2007
BC Young Readers Choice Award
Nominee, Snow Willow Award, 2006
Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice Award
Winner, Sheila A. Egoff Award for Children’s Literature, BC, 2006
Honour Book of the Year for Children Award, Canadian Library Association, 2006
Nominee, Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature, 2005
The Secret Wish of Nannerl Mozart (Second Story Press, 1996)Shortlist, Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young Adults, 1996
Canadian Children’s Book Centre Choice, 1996
Shortlist, Mr. Christie’s Book Award for Best Children’s Book
(Age 8-11 Category), Shortlist, 1997
Shortlist, B.C. Red Cedar Awards, 1998-1999


Hannah Waters and the Daughter of Johann Sebastian Bach excerpted passage from the novel, contributed to: When I was a Child: Stories for Grownups and Children (Oberon, 2003)


Domain (House of Anansi, 2007) Longlist, 2008 ReLit Award, Poetry
Selected, Quill & Quire Books of the Year, 2007
A Cappella Mennonite Voices in Poetry
Edited by Ann Hostetler(University of Iowa Press, USA, 2003)
Where the Words Come From Canadian Poets in Conversation
Edited by Tim Bowling(Nightwood Editions, 2002)
Inside Poetry Second Edition
Edited by Richard Davies and Jerry Wowk(Harcourt, 2002)
From the Top of a Grain Elevator children’s collection
illustrated by Kathy Thiessen(Beach Holme Publishing, 1999) Finalist, Book of the Year for Children, Canadian Library Association
Canadian Children’s Book Centre Choice, 1999
Meltwater Fiction and Poetry from The Banff Centre for the Arts(Banff Centre Press, 1998)
The Gladys Elegies adult collection(Coteau Books, 1997) Pat Lowther Memorial Award, 1998,
Best Book of Poetry by a Canadian Woman
Earlier manuscript, Second place, 1995 Kalamalka Press New Writers Competition
Breathing Fire Canada’s New Poets
Edited by Lorna Crozier and Patrick Lane(Harbour Publishing, 1995)

Agent: Marie Campell