Author and journalist
Former journalist, broadcaster, municipal councillor and federal election candidate, Barry Grills was born in Belleville, Ontario in 1948. He has been publishing short fiction in Canada since 1973. Short stories appeared in various literary magazines such as Quarry, Grain, and the University of Windsor Review, as well as anthologies, including Best Canadian Stories. He is also the author of three cultural biographies from Quarry Press on the lives of Anne Murray, Alanis Morissette and Celine Dion. An updated biography of Celine Dion with Jim Brown was the source of a CBC Television movie which aired in 2008. Every Wolf's Howl: A Memoir, about his adventures, friendship, and spiritual transformation with a wolf-German shepherd cross companion, will be published by Freehand Books in autumn 2012.
A cultural and political activist, he is a past chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada, having also served on its executive and
National Council as treasurer, second vice-chair and first vice-chair. He also chaired the Union’s Cultural Agenda Lobby Committee for six years. He has been the Union’s representative to the Canadian Conference of the Arts, the International Network for Cultural Diversity and the Coalition for Cultural Diversity where he served on the executive and as a member of its executive committee on a new international instrument for cultural diversity negotiated at UNESCO, which came into being a few years ago. In May, 2006, he was elected once again to the National Council of The Writers’ Union as an advocate. He stepped down at the end of May, 2008 to devote more time to teaching and writing. He also stepped down as chair of the Book and Periodical Council, a position to which he was first elected in May, 2004. He has been a municipal councillor and, in 1988, ran for the NDP in Leeds-Grenville, to fight the infamous Free Trade Agreement with the United States. In a regional context, he is a founding director of the Arts Council of Muskoka and a former chair of the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership initiative, Arts in the Wild. He was a director of the North Bay Area Arts Council and, until recently, served as vice-chair of North Bay’s Coordinating Body on Arts, Culture and Heritage. He continues to focus privately on globalization issues and their impact on cultural sovereignty, and devotes most of his volunteer time to freedom of expression issues, as well as supporting environmental initiatives. Primarily a writer of book-length fiction, he also writes and publishes magazine articles on a freelance basis. A self-professed existentialist, his creative works tend to address the role of conventional mythology in human society.
He is married to writer and community college professor, Jennifer Rouse Barbeau. They live in North Bay, Ontario.
"The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived, and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic." John F. Kennedy
"Duties derive all, or at least a good part, of their sanctity from want of courage to fight for one's private life." Hermann Hesse