Paul Quarrington

I just heard the news that Paul Quarrington has passed away, at the age of 56. He was an accomplished author, musician, and filmmaker, well-known, appreciated, and respected across Canada. Paul was also my writing mentor when I took the Humber School of Creative Writing program, online, in 2006. I had the opportunity to meet him only twice since then, the last in Nov. 2009 when he was performing with his band, The Porkbelly Futures, in Calgary. Diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer the previous June, he had made this trip to Calgary, in spite of the fact that he had recently begun undergoing treatment that left him exhausted and in pain. He literally wheezed his way through a few sets that evening at The Ironwood, having explained in a newspaper article published the previous day that he believed in the healing powers of music and in continuing on with his life, regardless, living his days to the fullest. Between sets, I introduced myself to him, as a former student (plus we’d been in contact by email since the summer), and he immediately asked me to sit and talk with him. A very funny and engaging man, Paul wanted to hear about me and what was happening with my own writing career. He was very encouraging as we ended the conversation, and guaranteed that I would eventually have my work published. Thanks for that, Paul. You will be missed.

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2 responses

  1. I never met him, but I wanted to!
    I think Paul Q was an original, a rule-breaker. There were many nights I sat reading Logan in Overtime, or Whale Music, in bed, laughing my butt off. My husband was thus enticed to read Logan…then I had to put up with him laughing!
    King Leary reminded me of my own pro hockey player grandfather. I gave the book to my father for Christmas one year. I am, but shouldn’t be, surprised by how books can unite us all.
    Galveston remains my fave book by him.

    I hope, no I KNOW, that Paul is up there right now, checking out that Dogstar Sirius…

  2. I didn’t know him except that he, too, experienced life through words, feeling his way in his last months with some of the most honest and beautiful prose.

    I am very, very sad to know he is gone.

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