The image shows a headshot of Professor Robert Hilles in a red shirt.

Headshot of Robert Hilles/ Image via Robert Hilles

VIU Creative Writing and Journalism professor Robert Hilles has a book launch coming up this Sunday, October 3rd. The event will be for not one, but two new books: a novel called Don’t Hang Your Soul on That and From God’s Angle, a poetry collection. The launch will take place virtually, via a Zoom webinar available through the Vancouver Island Regional Library website.

Set in Thailand, Hilles says Don’t Hang Your Soul on That examines “the unique way that Thais look at life and love,” as well as a few Buddhist tales he’s heard from his wife. He adds that From God’s Angle, made up of prose poems, “focus[es] on the aftermath…of the Chernobyl Nuclear Accident in the Ukraine on April 26, 1986.” The first two chapters of his novel can be previewed on Hilles’ The Write Launch page and a handful of poems from his new collection can be perused on his publisher, Black Moss Press’ website.

Hilles has been writing professionally for decades. His first poems were published in literary magazines in the late 70s. He received the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 1994 for his Cantos from a Small Room and his first novel, Raising of Voices, won the George Bugnet award in 1993. From God’s Angle is Hilles’ eighteenth collection of poetry, while Don’t Hang Your Soul on That is his fourth novel. Both were published this September, and are available for purchase now.

Hilles’ book launch will take place over Zoom from 2-3pm on Sunday, October 3rd. To register, sign up at this VIRL page and keep an eye out for an emailed Zoom link. Hilles hopes some of his VIU students are able to attend.

Hilles will also be reading excerpts from his new works at the Creative Writing orientation this Friday, October 1st. It will take place at 12:30pm on the patio outside the VIEW gallery on campus, or inside Malaspina Theatre’s lobby in the event of rain. Attendees can look forward to readings from CREW profs such as Hilles and, of course, free pizza.


Isabella Ranallo is a third-year Creative Writing student at VIU. She's loved storytelling ever since she stole a sheet of her mother's office paper at age four to write the first page of a story about ten kids stranded on a desert island. Her short story, "The Journal," was published in VIRL and Rebel Mountain Press' In Our Own Teen Voice 2019. These days, she spends her free time scribbling away in Moleskine notebooks or searching for cat-inspired stationery.

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