Poet, essayist, fictionist

Check out/buy her books, get in touch, visit The Kitchen Shelf












Quilter & Sewist

Poet, essayist, fictionist

Check out/buy her books, get in touch, visit The Kitchen Shelf

Now Available!

Among the Untamed

By turns angry, powerful, visceral, and challenging, this modern re-telling of Joan of Arc in linked poems casts her as a prairie-born Jeanne Dark. In tough, tender lyrical language filled with imagery and magic, the protagonist explores sexual politics, feminism, gender identity, and how we make meaning of life.

dee’s second collection of poetry evokes prairie landscapes, northern tailings ponds, infamous bridges, dancehalls, deadly beaches, lost Edens, busy kitchens.
The lyrics are populated by haunted women and children, famous women, lost women, questing and questioning women, re-discovered women, and ultimately, hope’s flickering orange feathers.

Upcoming Event

September 16, 2023

510 Cynthia St, Saskatoon


1:00pm - 5:00pm

Workshop facilitator, “Repetition, Resonance, and Rhythm in Form Poetry”

Registration required through the SWG’s website.

Upcoming Event

Workshop facilitator, “Repetition, Resonance, and Rhythm in Form Poetry”

Registration required through the SWG’s website.

September 16, 2022

510 Cynthia St, Saskatoon


1:00pm - 5:00pm


dee’s writing reflects her passions.

dee is the 10th Saskatchewan Poet Laureate. Her term runs from 2023 – 2025. dee Hobsbawn-Smith is equally at home writing essays, poetry, novels, short fiction, and journalism. Her award-winning writing is at times influenced by her earlier career in the food industry as a Red Seal chef, educator, Slow Food member and locavore advocate, editor, and mentor. Her work has appeared in literary journals, newspapers, magazines, websites, on the airwaves, and in numerous anthologies in Canada, the USA, and Scotland. Her literary books include Wildness Rushing in: poems; What Can’t Be Undone: stories; a chapbook, Jeanne Dark comes of age on the prairie; Bread & Water: essays (winner of the SK Book Awards Nonfiction Award); Danceland Diary: a novel; and Among the Untamed: poems (coming in 2023). dee’s culinary books include Skinny Feasts; The Quick Gourmet; The Curious Cook at Home; Shop Talk; and Foodshed: An Edible Alberta Alphabet (winner of the 2013 Gourmand World Cookbooks Awards; Best Culinary Book, 2013 High Plains Book Awards; and 3rd prize, 2014 Les Dames D’Escoffier M.F.K. Fisher Award for Excellence in Culinary Writing). She has edited five books by other writers. She also edited and produced a hand-bound-bound and hand-stitched limited-edition poetry chapbook designed as a fundraiser for Slow Food. She has contributed to a Canadian culinary textbook and numerous culinary recipe anthologies.  


A lifelong athlete, dee runs half-marathons, walks, swims, and has a daily yoga practice. For fun, she turns to quilting and sewing, cooking, painting, growing orchids and vegetables, and betting on the ponies at the track. She loves dancing, crossword puzzles, good coffee, better wine, mysteries and period movies, books and reading, folk music, R&B and bluegrass, her kids, dog, partner, family, friends, and the natural world. She is the proud mother of two adult sons who are fabulous cooks. dee Hobsbawn-Smith and her husband, the poet and writer Dave Margoshes, live rurally west of Saskatoon, in Treaty Six Territory, home of the Cree, Lakoda, Dakota, Nakoda, Dene, and the traditional home of the Metis Nation. 

dee’s Credentials


dee’s first poetry collection, Wildness Rushing In, published in 2013 by Hagios Press, was hailed as showing “flashes of brilliance rare in a first collection” by Saskatchewan Book Awards’ jurors. Her second, Among the Untamed, from Frontenac House and published in 2023, has been described as “brilliantly executed” and “remarkable, exhilarating, and heartbreaking.”

Essayist and memoirist

Bread & Water, dee’s award-winning essay collection, is a memoir that brings together her investigative journalistic deep dives into local and sustainable food with tender, perceptive renderings of her family’s rural life.

Novelist and short story writer

Making up stories is nothing new to dee. At age ten she wrote fantasies about a magical land called Radec Enal; at age fifteen, she wrote stories on her own skin as she rode her horse for miles each day. Her novel and stories feature gardeners, studhorse women, chefs and cooks, a former rodeo cowboy, a grieving playwright, a middle-aged man smitten with a young woman, and horse-crazy teenage girls. They all teeter on the edge of change.

Red Seal chef

No longer cooking professionally, dee happily feeds family and friends. Her words about food, which for years appeared regularly in Calgary’s City Palate, the Calgary Herald, and many other Canadian publications, are now featured in Grainews. (www.grainews.ca)


Between 1995 and 2010, she taught thousands of Albertans the nuts and bolts of cooking methods, ingredients, knife skills, food and wine pairings, and food culture, and was described by students as a teacher “blessed with precision and whimsy.” Her literary teaching offers the same quirky, detailed, and deeply involved focus. She has mentored many writers, and offers writing workshops on a variety of craft-based topics, only some of which include any mention of food.

The Kitchen Shelf

Winter Vegetables

Our golden retriever, Jake, is lying at my feet, waiting while I write. He won’t let the clock slip past eight AM in midwinter without getting up and nudging me. Sure enough, on the stroke of eight he’s beside me, his beautiful head in my lap, insisting we get moving. Time to get outside, throw a ball and run around.

Celebrate! Add Carrot Pickle to Your Festive Table or Gift Boxes

All month I’ve been pestering Mom for stories. You’d think I was five again. But no. Truth is, we’ve been in closer proximity than usual. She’s recovering from glaucoma surgery, which has eliminated lifting, bending over, or carrying anything heavier than a supper plate. So I am at her house, lifting, bending over, and carrying.

Fishers and Farmers

Early fall, and I am on a West Coast holiday with Mom, revisiting the foods, places, and faces of her youth. Mom is a retired dryland farmer, and like me, she misses the ready access to fish and seafood that we enjoyed during our earlier coastal life while Dad was in the Canadian Air Force. So on this west coast vacation, we eat west coast fish every day – wild sockeye salmon, halibut, tuna, spot prawns, ling cod, rockfish, sablefish.


Dave is mourning the passing of the lake that almost surrounded our house for seven years. It covered fifteen acres at its peak, in fact a large slough, but ‘lake’ dignified what was a difficult situation. And now he mourns its loss.

The Alchemy of Sourdough Bread

Gluten and wheat intolerance has been on my family’s radar for decades. My sister Lee gave up eating all wheat-based foods in her early twenties after a childhood and teenager-hood filled with bellyaches and gastrointestinal distress. Fifteen years ago, my own body started to experience similar negative reactions to bread.

Cheese and Virtual Rescue Missions

Life in a pandemic takes its toll in many ways. One of the noticeable changes is how we spend our leisure time. No trips this year – not that I was actively planning, and not that I go often, but I’d love to see Europe again. I want to see Asia, too, and Australia, Africa, South America, more of North America. But not under these conditions. Not now.

Making the Best of a Tough Tomato Harvest

War contributes to the transportation and appropriation of goods around the globe. For instance, tomatoes were among the plants and animals that ended up in Europe in the unequal exchange of goods, disease, slavery, land theft, and genocide between New World and Old, beginning in 1492 and culminating in1650, called the Columbian Exchange. This event led to the emergence of some remarkable Mediterranean dishes, many centering on the tomato, and making them among the world’s most popular fruit for home gardeners like me. My tomato-growing is bittersweet, knowing the history of the plants.

South Asian Favourites, Part I: Pakoras

When I told her I thought I was a changeling, my mom laughed out loud. “With those eyes? Those cheeks? That chin? You are the spitting image of your aunt Lila.”

Canadiana Classics, Part I: Nanaimo Bars: A Fat Slice of History

I lived in Vancouver in my twenties. Yaletown didn’t exist yet, other than as hulking rows of empty warehouses to be bicycled past quickly. Granville Island was an industrial wasteland, the Fairview Slopes didn’t, and False Creek was still a reclamation project. Elsewhere in town, the Ridge Theatre became known as the city’s repertory theatre, home to second run and art-house films. It showed midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, classics like Casablanca, and weeks-long series by Kurosawa and Hitchcock.

Lentils from the Ashes of War

In 1923, Jirys Ya’qūb Sallūm kissed his wife and young sons goodbye in the town of Qar’awn, located in the Biqa’ Valley, in the French protectorate of Lebanon and Syria. Speaking only Arabic, he traveled to Canada to work for a relative who had a farm in southwestern Saskatchewan. He wanted a safer home for his family than the Middle East, turbulent in the wake of the First World War. His region had been occupied by the Turks of the Ottoman Empire, then by the French, and it seemed to him that Canada was a long way from this strife.

“Bread & Water is an emotionally arresting, beautifully written series of essays.”

~ Jurors’ Citation, Saskatchewan Book Awards, University of Saskatchewan President’s Office Nonfiction Award

“Food is a wonderful agent for storytelling... and Bread & Water demonstrates this brilliantly.”

~ Sarah Ramsey, starred review, Quill & Quire

“[Bread & Water is] An amazing feast... riveting... eloquent.”

~ Patricia D. Robertson, Winnipeg Free Press

“[Bread & Water is a] sensuous experience; she brings her poet’s eye and ear to everything within her purview.”

~ Professor emerita Kathleen Wall, Blue Duets

“A deep love of the art of cooking that includes the language of fine dining (cassoulet, confit) even if the lamb was raised in Olds and she picked the rhubarb herself... she impressively manages this collision of worlds with a wholesome, approachable style.”

~ Megan Clark, Alberta Views

“These finely focussed poems [in Wildness Rushing In] invite us into a sensuous and emotionally rich landscape.”

~ Don McKay, winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize

“The writing [in Wildness Rushing In] is honed and textured, the senses so alive that you can practically taste the language. There are moments of brilliance rare in a first book.”

~ Jurors’ Citation, Saskatchewan Book Awards

“dee Hobsbawn-Smith’s stories [in What Can’t Be Undone] are written with a poetic edge. Her descriptions, particularly western landscapes, are often luxurious, lending themselves a kind of nuanced impression, a delicate fingerprint on the reader’s mind. "

~ Lee Kvern, Alberta Views

“[Foodshed is] A rich encyclopedia of facts, farm-gate lore and original recipes... a politically engaging narrative in which Hobsbawn-Smith articulates the challenges and joys faced by small-scale producers... don’ t let the alphabet theme fool you. This is no tame nursery rhyme; it is a locavore call to arms.”

~ P.D. Robertson, The Globe & Mail

Taste Canada Book Awards Finalist
Taste Canada Book Awards Finalist



Skip to content