Birthday Orchids

Steve (Pisti) Hajnoczky's photograph from January, 2018.

Steve (Pisti) Hajnoczky's photograph from January, 2018.

Today, March 29, we celebrate Steve (Pisti) Hajnoczky’s birthday. As a special tribute to him and his artistic vision, I thought I’d share some photos of one of my father’s favourite subjects—orchids.

Steve loved flowers—spotting them, photographing them, painting them, and just appreciating the beauty they add to the world. Many a family road trip was extended because the sun would be hitting a prairie field in a particularly beautiful way, and no Hajnoczky can resist pulling over and pulling out their camera when nature beckons thusly. Steve also enjoyed cultivating indoor flowers—especially orchids. Orchids, though, are not for the impatient. Steve’s orchid collection would, many years, feature only stems and leaves, with each plant following its own long, patient cycle between flowerings. Nevertheless, he attentively cared for the plants year after year, appreciating them as they were.

Then, in January of 2018, one of Steve’s plants flowered for the first time in 25 or so years. Of course, he took the opportunity to carefully set up a backdrop for the flower (with the help of Ruth), and to then photograph the long awaited orchid. Here is one image from his series of photographs.

The two shelf mate orchids, 2019

The two shelf mate orchids, 2019

I picked this particular photograph as I think it typifies my father’s style. The close cropping showcases the blossom, with the carefully considered angle adding drama and movement to the flower. This approach to the subject also highlights the structure of the orchid, allowing it to cast shadows on itself, and letting the lines and frills of the blossom draw the viewer in. The photograph emphasizes the delicate texture of the pink that brushes each petal. The leaves, too, in the background adds dynamism to the image, sweeping behind the flower and inviting us to look from one edge of the flower to the other.

This plant sits in a stand with its partner, another plant my father patiently cared for year after year. And this year, the plant has treated us to a display of vibrant purple flowers.

With my dad in mind, I spent some time yesterday photographing this flower, taking the time to appreciate not only the beauty of the blossom, but also the time and love my father put into caring for this plant so that I could enjoy it, enjoy photographing it as he would have, and enjoy sharing it with you.

Help us celebrate Steve (Pisti) Hajnoczky's birthday today by taking a moment to appreciate the flowers!

The 2019 birthday orchids.

The 2019 birthday orchids.

NOTE: This post was originally shared as part of our monthly newsletter. Each monthly newsletter features one of Steve’s works as a way of celebrating his life and art. Sign up for the newsletter here:

Prints of the orchid series are available


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my (small press) writing day

The poem is the tangle in me that I untangle, but in untangling it I create a tangle, and this is what I have to offer, like the glass vessel. Everything we do together seems so fragile to me.

The poem is the tangle in me that I untangle, but in untangling it I create a tangle, and this is what I have to offer, like the glass vessel. Everything we do together seems so fragile to me.

rob mclennan kindly asked me to contribute to his ongoing series “my (small press) writing day.” Check it out here. Writing this piece was a wonderful experience, giving me the opportunity to reflect on what motivates me and work for me as a writer, and what it feels good to share or hold back when writing about grief.

Be sure to browse around the site too! With new contributions being added all the time, “my (small press) writing day” is a wonderful source of inspiration and insight into the creative process.

Review of "Variations on the Stillness of Motion"


rob mclennan has posted a lovely review on his blog of my latest chapbook Variations on the Stillness of Motion. rob very touchingly calls this chapbook, which deals with grief, “quiet and still and lovely.” Thanks rob!

The chapbook Variations on the Stillness of Motion explores grief through both watercolour paintings and poetry. The work is 36 pages long, full colour, with a hand-sewn spine. Copies can be ordered here, through the teacozy store.

You can also follow the work along on Instagram, where I’m posting the pages slowly one by one using the hashtag #VariationsOnTheStillnessOfMotion. These pages are interspersed with #eyeSnowScape posts of pieces made together with my late father, Steve Hajnoczky. You can read more about his eyeSnowScape series, his work, and our work together here.

Woolf's Voice 22!

Woolf's Voices.jpg
Paintings in progress for  Variations on the Stillness of Motion  ?! Press Chapbook

Paintings in progress for Variations on the Stillness of Motion ?! Press Chapbook

I’m reading tomorrow at Woolf’s Voice 22! Shelf Life Books, 7pm, November 21st. This reading series is especially meaningful to me, as my dad and I had the wonderful opportunity to share our eyeSnowScape collaboration there at #20 on 2 May 2018—the last show of his work that he was able to attend in person—and we just had the best night ever. It’s a wonderful, warm environment that Adrienne Adams and Shelf Life books create together, and it’s a privilege to get to participate again, this time in a poetry capacity. I’ll be sharing works written in response to the eyeSnowScape series (you can find all those here, or in the ?! Press gallery), as well as poems about anticipatory grief and coping with grief through art.

I’ll also be reading from a brand new chapbook (which I may or may not still be sewing together…) also about the grieving process. It’s called “Variations on the Stillness of Motion” and it’s full colour, handwritten, and I’m excited to share it.

I’ll be sharing the chapbook’s contents on Instagram using the hashtag #VariationsOnTheStillnessOfMotion so please do follow along! If you don’t use Instagram you can check out the posts on this very site

above/ground press: 25th anniversary poetry broadsides

Image of broadsides  from above/ground press .

Image of broadsides from above/ground press.

“a shadow is a delicate thing
disturbed by the wind
by a breeze, a breath”

You can now get a copy of “Pink Skies I” in the beautiful above/ground press: 25th anniversary poetry broadsides pack!

“Pink Skies I” celebrates the life and art of my father, Steve Hajnoczky, by reflecting on the way his landscape painting series “Nothing but Pink Skies from Now On” has influenced the way I see the prairie landscape.

Thanks to above/ground for including this poem, and a very happy 25th anniversary!

People's Poetry Festival at Loft 112

Loft 112 Reading.jpg

Come on out to the evening show of the People’s Poetry Festival and catch a short stop motion movie I’m making based on my book Magyarazni.

?! Press at Calgary Canzine


?! Press will be at Calgary Canzine! Saturday, October 27, 2018, 12 - 6 p.m. at the Memorial Park Library. I’ll have chapbooks of some old favourites, as well as new works made specifically for this event.