“A Day in the Life” with writer, editor, designer, illustrator Nicole Haldoupis

I was recently told Nicole’s favourite colour is brown. It was an unsettling fact at first, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. Like shades of brown, Nicole is understated and unpretentious. The colour choice is really no surprise, as anyone who’s read her Cool Ranch Dorito poem knows, Nicole has a knack for making the lacklustre shine.

I met Nicole Haldoupis in a creative writing workshop at YorkU. Our friendship, rooted in our love of the craft (and cats), was strengthened over glasses of cheap Cab Sauv and steaming plates of pad thai at our mid-town “office” (AKA Pour Boy on Manning) as we plotted the future of our joint endeavour, untethered.

After a brief post-graduation stint as a fro-yo scooper—a job she was fired from—Nicole fled the big city for an MFA at USask in the prairies. Since then, Nicole has always found positions in the arts, a fact that speaks to her incredible drive and talent. untethered, Grain, Applebeard Editions, Descant, Existere, Jack Pine Press, Thistledown, River Volta, and Riddle Fence are just some of the publishing entities that have benefitted from Nicole’s expertise.

Nicole has been and will likely always be the wearer of many hats. Writer, editor, designer, illustrator, and, most recently, the co-keeper of a semi-haunted B&B in Newfoundland, she finds opportunities just about everywhere she goes, something I very much admire.

As a child, Nicole’s ski instructor nicknamed her Daredevil. Though it might not always seem like it these days, I assure you the moniker still applies. Mountainous literary to-do lists may have replaced the ski slopes, but this woman is unafraid of a challenge. She might just be unstoppable.

—Stephanie McKechnie, friend and untethered co-editor

I’m not usually this grumpy but this photo was taken at the end of a LONG month(-ish) that included my 30th birthday and an emergency appendectomy—but it also included my first book launch and chopping off and donating sixteen inches of hair (photo by Geoff Pevlin) #2020feels
I’m not usually this grumpy but this photo was taken at the end of a LONG month(-ish) that included my 30th birthday and an emergency appendectomy—but it also included my first book launch and chopping off and donating sixteen inches of hair (photo by Geoff Pevlin) #2020feels
My debut novel Tiny Ruins looking pretty with some dahlias in front of the house down the street.
My debut novel Tiny Ruins looking pretty with some dahlias in front of the house down the street.
My fancy closet recording booth! Tiny Ruins will soon be available as an audiobook!
My fancy closet recording booth! Tiny Ruins will soon be available as an audiobook!
I haven’t been eating out as often lately, but I believe that pizza is always a good idea—this slice was had for my special launch-day dinner at Venice Pizzeria in St. John’s.
I haven’t been eating out as often lately, but I believe that pizza is always a good idea—this slice was had for my special launch-day dinner at Venice Pizzeria in St. John’s.
Grateful to be surrounded by so much beauty! I got to film my reading at Cuckolds Cove as part of Tiny Ruins’ launch event! Isn’t it gorgeous?
Grateful to be surrounded by so much beauty! I got to film my reading at Cuckolds Cove as part of Tiny Ruins’ launch event! Isn’t it gorgeous?
What can I say? I’ve always been a cat person.
What can I say? I’ve always been a cat person.
I draw cats! Here are my cat drawings at an art market at Eastern Edge Gallery/St Michael’s Print Shop in St. John’s.
I draw cats! Here are my cat drawings at an art market at Eastern Edge Gallery/St Michael’s Print Shop in St. John’s.
This is me and my dear friend and untethered co-editor, Stephanie McKechnie, hard at work in our “office” (Pour Boy in Toronto). Wine and snacks not pictured.
This is me and my dear friend and untethered co-editor, Stephanie McKechnie, hard at work in our “office” (Pour Boy in Toronto). Wine and snacks not pictured.

Which ‘hood are you in?

I grew up in Toronto’s East York neighbourhood and spent a lot of my youth roaming around Scarborough/Danforth/Beaches. I briefly lived on York’s Glendon and Keele campuses, but after finishing a BA, I moved to Saskatoon for an MFA and stuck around there a while for the cool jobs, humans, and cats. I recently moved to Newfoundland where I live in a 140-year-old inn in downtown St. John’s.

What do you do?

I’m a writer, editor, designer, illustrator, and aspiring rug hooker. I currently work as the outgoing Editor at Grain magazine in Saskatchewan.

What are you currently working on?

I’m thinking about starting a new novel. By thinking, I mean I’ve written about 900 words or so (as part of NaNoWriMo). My first book, Tiny Ruins, came out just last month, so I’ve been spending time on other creative projects like drawing cats and rug hooking.

Where can we find your work?

You can find Tiny Ruins at several local bookshops in Toronto, including Another Story, Queen Books, and Book City, as well as many Indigo/Chapters/Coles locations in the city. You can also order it on the Radiant Press website: radiantpress.ca/shop/tiny-ruins.

Some cool Toronto (or nearby) litmags that have published my work: BAD DOG, Bad Nudes (Montreal), The Feathertale Review, Sewer Lid, (parenthetical), and The Quilliad.

Watch the Tiny Ruins book launch video, filmed by the Atlantic at Cuckolds Cove in St. John’s, NL, here:

Website | Twitter | Instagram

Cat drawings: @morningkitties (Instagram)

 

 

 

About Joel Levy 2163 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography