The Book Shelf

dee was bitten by the “I want to write a book” bug after selling her Calgary restaurant, Foodsmith, in 1994. Her first book, Skinny Feasts, a cookbook – based on the food she served at Foodsmith – was published in 1997 by Whitecap Books, and became a national bestseller. In the intervening years, she has become a multi-disciplinary writer, producing books of poetry and essays, a novel, and short stories.

Reading books helps with cognition and empathy, and readers live longer than non-readers. Writing books helps dee understand the world… but sometimes it’s just about telling a good story!


Among The Untamed

(2023, Frontenac House)

By turns angry, powerful, visceral, evocative, and ultimately hopeful, this modern retelling 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.

Danceland Diary

(Radiant Press, 2022)

Luka and her sister Connie are the inheritors of a secretive and disturbing family history going back three generations to the disappearance of their great-grandfather. Set in the seductive beauty of rural Saskatchewan with a backdrop of the drug-fueled Downtown Eastside of Vancouver and the horrific pig farm murders, Luka’s quest for her mother, and for peace and love, is a disquieting, moving, and thoroughly engaging examination of intergenerational trauma, family ties, and forgiveness.

Bread & Water


(U of R Press, 2021)

When chef and writer dee Hobsbawn-Smith left the city for rural life on a farm in Saskatchewan, she planned to replace cooking and teaching with poetry and prose, but—as begin the best stories—her next adventure didn’t quite work that way. These luscious essays use food to explore the hungers of the human soul: wilder hungers that loiter beyond cravings for love.

What Can’t Be Undone


(Thistledown Press, 2015)

These exquisitely crafted stories travel across the rolling prairies, unforgiving mountain ranges, and coastal highways of Western Canada, shining a light on the complexities of life. A chef, a former rodeo cowboy, a grieving playwright, a middle-aged man smitten with a young woman and horse-crazy teenage girls catapult into painful realizations of loss and change.

Wildness Rushing In


(Hagios Press, 2014)

In this amazing first collection, a new and original voice sparks with intelligence in its full-tilt explorations of nature, solitude, joy, loss, and love. At once contemplative, compassionate, sensory and packed full of startling insights, Wildness Rushing In is an exciting and accomplished poetic debut.


An Edible Alberta Alphabet

(TouchWood Editions, 2012)

Foodshed puts a face on Alberta’s sustainable food scene with detailed profiles of 76 of Alberta’s leading growers and producers. It is an intimate (agri)cultural examination of the ground that farmers stand on—government involvement and land access, water and the environment, animal welfare and farm labour, and organizations that influence food, from Slow Food to the grassroots Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement.

“dee Hobsbawn-Smith does it all — award-winning poetry, essays, fiction, and journalism.”

~ Kerry Clare, 49th Shelf


Jeanne Dark Comes of Age on the Prairie

(Espresso Chapbooks, summer 2019. An edition of 100 numbered copies. 5.5 x 8.5 in., 28 pages, hand sewn and bound, with french flaps)

A linked suite of poems about growing up that is also an intertextual reaching-out to the community of prairie poets. In tough and tender lyrical language, the protagonist explores sexual politics, feminism, gender identity, and how we make meaning.


Shop Talk

The Open-All-Hours Insider’s Guide to Finding Great Ingredients in Calgary, the Bow Valley and Beyond

(Last Impression Publishing, 2008)

This definitive regional sourcebook includes a comprehensive section on local food growers & producers, farmers’ markets and retailers, and a comprehensive glossary.

The Curious Cook At Home

Recipes & Secrets From An Adventurous Chef

(Whitecap, 2004)

This collection follows a popular newspaper columnist home into her kitchen, sets its elbows on the counter, and eats with the family.

The Quick Gourmet

(Whitecap, 2000)

Evolving from the food a busy chef and mother feeds two growing sons, this witty collection is en pointe, adventurous and elegant.

Skinny Feasts

(Whitecap, 1997)

Give an adventurous good chef a tiny restaurant without a deep fryer, and be amazed at what transpires: depth of flavour, intelligent choice of cooking methods, delicious food that is inherently healthful.

“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



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