Owen Schalk

Owen Schalk

Owen Schalk is a writer from Manitoba.  His short stories have been distributed by a variety of print and online publishers, including Quagmire Literary Magazine, Sobotka Literary Magazine and The Anti-Languorous Project.  He is a columnist at Canadian Dimension magazine and a contributor to Jacobin, Monthly Review, Protean Magazine and many others.  His book on Canada’s role in the war in Afghanistan will be released by Lorimer Books later this year.

Owen is currently enrolled in the University of Saskatchewan’s MFA in Writing program, where he is working on a novel thesis.  The novel’s themes include the need to decolonize social relations with people and nature, and the necessity of engaging critically with personal and regional histories in order to foster a more ecological way of being.


Q: If you could travel back in time, which of the great writers would you like to meet and why?

A: Walter Benjamin or Pier Paolo Pasolini, both of whom foresaw the rise of the modern consumer society and tried to warn us in their own incomparable ways.


Q: What is the first book you remember reading or having read to you as a child?

A: One of my most creatively formative memories is of my grandfather gifting me his copy of A Confederacy of Dunces when I was eight or nine years old. Though at the time I was too young to understand much of it, I have valued that book (and literature of the American South) very highly ever since.


Q: Do you have a favourite quote? (From a book, film, song, speech…)

A: ‘Between my finger and my thumb / The squat pen rests / I’ll dig with it’ – Seamus Heaney, ‘Digging’