Kirsten Fogg

Writer, Editor, Award-Winning Essayist, Serial Migrant, Story Catcher

I left Canada in 1989 with a one-way ticket on Wardair flight 132. It was so long ago the crew handed me stainless steel cutlery wrapped in linen and served me on china dishes. When I emerged into the diesel smog at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport I was carrying two suitcases, my father’s copy of archy and mehitabel and unspoken dreams of finding my literary fortune. After Paris, I kept searching in Bordeaux, Paris (again), Toronto (actually Toronto was more of a pit-stop), London England, Sydney and Brisbane Australia.

Over the years I’ve pumped petrol and pulled draft. I’ve au-paired, paired up, and unpaired. I’ve wandered wet cobblestone streets with cardboard in my shoes to keep my feet dry, travelled solo in Thailand and Tunisia, and mountaineered in the Himalayas. I’ve scuba dived on the Great Barrier Reef and ice climbed on Fox Glacier. 

I’ve worked as a financial reporter, a financial editor, and a financial translator. I’ve covered hedge funds, pension funds, stock markets and written profiles. In Australia, I was a freelance journalist until I had my first child and realized I couldn’t travel any more. For some reason, I didn’t see that coming. 

My travel and political features have been published in major newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, The Globe and Mail, and The Washington Times. My financial journalism from my Bloomberg News years  has appeared in The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and others. 

Once, in a moment of exasperation, I explained to my young daughters that I actually did have a life before they came along.

“I used to be on television and radio and wore a business suit to work every day,” I said, as I wiped goop off the floor.

“What’s a business suit?” my eldest daughter asked.

“Silly!” laughed my youngest. “It’s just like a bathing suit.”

Around that time I gave up trying to write novels. Instead I took an online course in creative nonfiction and wrote alone in the heat and humidity of the subtropics. My first essay was published in Creative Nonfiction and another, Nana Technology, won a national contest in Canada and was adapted by ABC Radio National. My essays have also been published in The Malahat Review and Brevity’s Nonfiction Blog.  I co-founded a public reading series Wild Readings and was a writer-in-residence with a school for refugee children. I believe in the power of story to change and the power of words to heal.

I am a bilingual Australian-Canadian who misses the screeching cockatoos, the blooming jacarandas and the smell of the Pacific Ocean. I’ve recently taken up circus silks and then tried acro (which basically means learning to walk on my hands without going splat). I play classical flute and use my feet and bike for transport. Although I don’t rock climb or run much anymore, I’m still in love with the beauty of words. I’ve been accepted for a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction at the University of King’s College. 

Mid-2017, I moved to Toronto Canada with all my books, my Aussie girls and my English husband occasionally known as Mr Toronto (or Mr Melbourne or Mr Dubai or Mr Windhoek). We are surrounded by love clutter in our renovation project The Turreted Money Pit. 

The thing I always forget about moving countries is that you have to start all over again.

I am still looking for my literary fortune. And I still have dad’s copy of archy and mehitabel.

 

– March 2020