Robert Hilles

Robert Hilles lives on Salt Spring Island and has won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry for "Cantos From A Small Room" and his novel, Raising of Voices, won George Bugnet Award. His second novel, A Gradual Ruin, was published by Doubleday Canada and now is in paperback. His books have also been shortlisted for The Milton Acorn People’s Poetry Prize, The W.O. Mitchell/City of Calgary Prize, The Stephan Stephansson Award, and The Howard O’Hagan Award. He has published fifteen books of poetry, three works of fiction (including A Gradual Ruin) and two nonfiction books (Kissing the Smoke and Calling the Wild). He recently completed a short story collection called, Little Pink Houses. His latest poetry collection, Line, was published in the spring of 2018. He is currently working on a novel set in Thailand tentatively called, Don't Hang Your Soul On That.

Don’t Hang Your Soul On That: Chapter Two

He doesn’t notice the change in weather until dark clouds balloon overhead. It’s too late to take cover so he drops his scythe and arches his back to the warm downpour. When the rain shifts sideways, Ed straightens and widens his stance to keep from losing balance. His robe soaks through and droops heavily but the rain is a welcome reprieve from the steady throttle of afternoon heat. Read more.

Novel Excerpts
Issue 16

Don’t Hang Your Soul On That: Chapter One

By the time she selects a third papaya, he’s already certain that it’s no coincidence that she’s across the street from him right now. Even from here, he feels an instant connection. This means that they have known each other in a past life. His father has said that: The full influence of karma is only understood through dedicated, daily meditation. He ignores those words and watches as she hands a papaya to the vendor who wraps it in newspaper and hands it back to her. She lowers it into a wicker basket and then turns slightly away from Tuum to pay. With her back to him, he notices that her skirt nearly touches the ground. She wears flat sandals and her hair is gathered in a single knot at the back. Read more.

Novel Excerpts
Issue 14


On a bright, crisp day in early October, he sped up Archie’s recently paved road and stopped inches from the twin-bay garage. He opened the driver’s door of his 1985 Chevy half-ton and swung his bad leg out first and leaned heavily on his cane. Inside the garage, his brother stood stooped over a V-8 engine. At the sight of Moss, he dropped a piston into a valve cover and wiped his hands on a soiled cloth. “There’s been a fire. Clara’s burned pretty bad,” Moss said, when Archie was close enough he smelled grease and dirty engine oil. Read more.

Novel Excerpts / Novella Issue Seven

“Don’t Hang Your Soul on That”, “Slant” and “Sugar Sandwiches”

When you read a Hilles poem, you are inside a lyricism that doesn’t stop at the length of the poem but continues to move as if the poet has shown you how to be with love and life and soul, even if you have to eat sugar sandwiches. Read these poems and you will see. Read more.

Poetry Issue Six

Photographing Dreams

In the tender love story by Robert Hilles, Scott sees his wife Cheryl holding his six-month-old daughter Denise, reminding him of the dream he had earlier that morning. It was the happiest he had ever been. Read more.

Short Story
Short Story Issue Five