Bio: Phil Dwyer’s asthmatic childhood contributed to a deep love of reading, an encyclopaedic knowledge of British sixties pop (and encyclopaedias), and a healthy distrust for the curvature of normal lives. He was a journalist for 20 years in the UK, working in the magazine industry as a reporter, news editor, editor, and latterly as a publisher. He moved to Canada in 2002 to work on a research project with Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams. That work spawned Tapscott’s The Naked Corporation.
In 2007, after a life-changing heart attack, he decided to focus on his writing. He’s an alumni of the Humber School for Writers and has workshopped short fiction with Alissa York at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. His creative writing has been published in Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper, and Canadian Stories, and his journalism has been published in over 15 UK publications (including The Financial Times and The London Times). In 2014, his short story Allergies Stephanie, placed first in the WCDR’s annual short story contest.
In 2013, he started working with Dr. Larry Librach on a palliative care project, which evolved into Conversations On Dying (to be published by Dundurn in April 2016). He workshopped the first chapter of Conversations On Dying with Charlotte Gill at the Banff Centre for the Arts in the fall of 2013.
He is a former board member of the Writers’ Community of the Durham Region (WCDR), a member of the Professional Writers’ Association of Canada (PWAC), The Canadian Authors’ Association and the Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs (CCWWP).
Phil is represented by Trena White, a principal at Page Two, and an associate agent at the Transatlantic Agency.
He lives in Toronto with his wife and her legions of imaginary puppies.
Craft: Writer, Memoirist, Short Fiction Writer
We all die. Most of us spend the majority of our lives ignoring this uncomfortable truth, but Dr. Larry Librach dedicated his life and his career to helping his patients navigate their final journey. Then, in April 2013, Larry was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.
Unlike the majority of us, Larry knew the death he wanted. He wanted to die at home, surrounded by his family: his wife of over forty years, his children, and his grandchildren. He did. He was peaceful and calm at the end. Larry proved that the “good death” isn’t a myth. It can be done, and he showed us how.
Ever the teacher, Larry made his last journey a teachable moment on how to die the best death possible, even with a pernicious disease. As hard as it is to guide patients toward dying well, it is far harder to live those precepts day by day as the clock ticks down to one’s own death, but Larry, together with author Phil Dwyer, chronicled his final journey with courage and humour.
Awards: Winner of WCDR short story contest
Canadian Authors Association