Laurie Lewis has been a well-known member of the Kingston literary community for almost two decades. Her writing has been broadcast on CBC and has appeared in several journals and publications, including Geist, Contemporary Verse, Queen’s Feminist Review, The Globe and Mail, and Vista. Her two memoirs, Little Comrades and Love, and all that Jazz were published by Porcupine’s Quill in 2011 and 2013.
Laurie is a Fellow of the Graphic Designers of Canada and is Editor Emerita of Vista, the publication of the Seniors Association in Kingston. She is also the director of Artful Codger Press, a small independent publisher based in Kingston. She began her career in publishing with Doubleday in New York in 1961, returning to Canada in 1963 to join University of Toronto Press, where she worked in production and design of U T P publications, becoming Head of Design at U of T Press. During her thirty years in publishing, she also taught book design in Guyana, in the Philippines, and at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Laurie celebrated the release of her first book, Little Comrades, at Kingston Writers Fest in 2011. Published by the prestigious literary press, Porcupine’s Quill, Little Comrades tells the fascinating story of her childhood, growing up in a dysfunctional left-wing family in the Canadian West during the Depression, and then moving, alone with her mother, author Ellen Stafford, to New York City during America’s fervently anti–Communist postwar years. “It is a thoughtful recollection of personal experience. With wit, honesty, and verve, Laurie describes a highly unusual childhood and an adventurous adolescence.”
Her second memoir, Love, and all that Jazz, published by Porcupine’s Quill in 2013, is focused on a new life with “the brilliant, Manhattan-cool, and dangerously charming Gary Lewis. This follow-up memoir exposes the pill-popping, booze-swilling underbelly of Madmen-era New York and celebrates the determination of a young single mother to make a life for herself and her child.”