James Scoles, 2020

James Scoles: author, researcher, teacher, world traveller

James Scoles is the author of The Trailer. He holds degrees from Arizona State, North Dakota & Southern Illinois Universities & he has lived, traveled & worked in over 90 countries. His poem “The Trailer” won the 2013 CBC Poetry Prize & his short stories are featured in Coming Attractions 13 (Oberon Press) & his writing has been nominated for The Journey Prize, the Pushcart Prize & both the Western & National Magazine Awards. He lives in Winnipeg, where he teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Winnipeg & also helps run a small, 120-year-old family farm.

My father’s Tractor is only 80 years old (the coffee-holder accessory is a more recent update).


Irish pride kept my grandfather step-dancing into his 90s, and it’s that same sort of pride that drives my research, which focuses on Irish history and family history from the early 1800s into the 1840s, a research and writing project called Spit in the Ocean, after a card game our family played for many years (and every now & again still plays). My mother, whose genealogy research skills are second-to-none, taught me how to dig through books, files & microfiche, historical documents, letters, maps & wills to find the secrets of the past, whether it’s family or world history. Recent research trips include genealogy & historical (political & religious) research at PRONI, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, as well as in Derry, Dublin (National Library & Archives), Monaghan & Clones, on the border, not far from the old Scoles family farm & schoolhouse at Aghalisk & Mullinahinch.


Some of the countries I’ve travelled & count among my favourite places in the world (in no particular order): Canada, Ireland, India, Japan, The Netherlands, Turkey, Israel & Jordan, Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras & Nicaragua, England, Scotland & Wales, Kenya, Morocco, Nepal, Scandinavia (Denmark, Finland, Norway & Sweden), Spain, Poland, Portugal, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia & Czech Republic (also the Czech Inn, Temple Bar, Dublin), Hungary, China, Thailand & South Korea, Mongolia & Russia, Australia & the USA.

The Long Walk, Galway Ireland (2017)

Site is still under construction: a selection of travel photos to come, from Ireland & some of the countries mentioned above…