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Shirley Camia

Shirley Camia is a broadcaster and journalist who was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Camia, a second-generation Filipina Canadian, has lived across Canada, the Philippines, Kenya and Japan and currently divides her time between Copenhagen, Denmark, and Toronto.
Calliope book cover



Surrey, B.C.: Libros Libertad Pub., 2011.
PS8605 .A495 C35 2011

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Calliope illustrates the rich emotional complexity found in instances – the choice moments of life from bliss to darkness, that convey the eccentricities, vulnerabilities and strengths of human existence.


Children Shouldn’t Use Knives and Other Tales

Illustrations by Cindy Mochizuki.
Winnipeg: At Bay Press, 2017.

Awards and Honours

2017 Alcuin Society Award for Excellence in Book Design in Canada (Honourable Mention) designers Matthew Stevens & Shirley Camia

2017 Manuela Dias Award for best book design–Manitoba Book Awards (Winner)

Synopsis (from the author’s website)

The blue skies of childhood exist in the warmest of our memories, but what chases us all through the rest of our lives are the storm clouds. This is the premise of Children Shouldn’t Use Knives, a harrowing but exhilarating examination of life before adolescence by Canadian poet Shirley Camia. In a series of razor-sharp sketches, Camia’s piercing observations are offered as a perfectly balanced counter-weight to the sing-song melody of innocence. Camia and Vancouver illustrator Cindy Mochizuki offer an individual reckoning that unpacks the universal truth that fear and danger respect no age and ignore all boundaries.




Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 2019.
PS8605 .A495 M47 2019

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Expanding breathlessly in the magnitude of loss, Mercy confronts despair to emerge anew with a bright offering of elegy. Beginning at her mother’s hospital bed, Camia invites readers to keep vigil while she journeys through seasons of bereavement, from the wake to the graveside, and into a year of processing, searching, and healing. Ethereal and elegant, Camia’s reflections are grounded in grief as they do the aching work of mourning and moving forward.

The Significance of Moths book cover


The Significance of Moths

Winnipeg, MB: Turnstone Press, 2015.
PS8605 .A495 S54 2015

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

There is a belief, in Filipino culture, that the recently deceased may return in the form of a moth. Though their bodies disintegrate, their spirits linger on. Fragile but insistent, these spirit-memories permeate Shirley Camia’s collection of poetry, The Significance of Moths.



Shirley Camia personal website

Publisher At Bay Press

Publisher Libros Libertad

Publisher Turnstone Press

Interview by Sanchari Sur posted October 4, 2018 on the Invisible Publishing blog