short fiction and poetry

Photo Credit: Jennifer Jacobson/City of Vancouver Book Award 2021

“We All Need to Eat’ is now out as an audiobook on Audible, read by Aven Shore. Listen here

Leslie’s writing blends patience and violence…We All Need to Eat is a work of precision. As the stories layer on top of each other, Alex Leslie open many of urban life’s paradoxes… Leslie’s sometimes hallucinatory writing style teases out the murky threshold where the conscious self meets the body.”

-Canadian Notes and Queries

I am a writer born on Musqueam territory in what’s now called Vancouver, British Columbia. My heritage is English and Ashzenaki Jewish from Ukraine. I write my first draft by hand, most of the time. I’ve learned the most from reading widely and if you have an interesting suggestion for short fiction or prose poetry to read, I’d love to hear about it. I decided to be a writer when I was 5 and it was all down/uphill from there.

I’ve published four books and one chapbook: the short story collection People Who Disappear (Freehand 2012), shortlisted for a Lambda Award for debut fiction, the prose poetry collection The things I heard about you (Nightwood 2014), the short story collection We All Need to Eat (Book*hug 2018), shortlisted for the BC Book Prize for fiction and Kobzar Prize, the poetry collection Vancouver for Beginners (Book*hug, 2019), winner of the Lohn Foundation’s Western Canada Jewish Book Prize and shortlisted for the City of Vancouver Book Prize, and the chapbook of microfictions 20 Objects for the New World (Nomados, 2011, out of print).

My writing has received a CBC Literary Award for short fiction and the Dayne Ogilvie Award from the Writers Trust of Canada for LGBTQ2S+ emerging writers. My writing has been published in the US and UK by Granta and Catapult and has been anthologized in Canada in The Journey Prize anthology (Penguin/Random House), Best Canadian Stories (Biblioasis) and Best Canadian Poetry in English (Tightrope). I’m particularly proud that my writing has been taught at universities and colleges across Canada including Emily Carr, UBC, OISE, UVic, Kwantlen and Capilano.

I’m a passionate supporter of the Canadian literary community and a member of the Writers Union of Canada. I’m currently writing a novel.

To reach me:

Queries re. my books can be sent to Hazel Millar at If you want to invite me to read or teach you can reach me at I am available for university and secondary school classrooms readings and workshops. I live in BC’s lower mainland.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Jacobson/City of Vancouver Book Award 2021