Rachel Zolf (born 1968) is a Canadian poet and scholar. She is the author of five poetry collections: Janey's Arcadia,[1] which was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award and a Raymond Souster Memorial Award;[2]Neighbour Procedure;[3]Human Resources[4] (2007), which won the 2008 Trillium Book Award for Poetry and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award; Masque [5](2004), which was shortlisted for the 2005 Trillium Book Award for Poetry; and Her absence, this wanderer [6](1999), the title poem of which was a finalist in the CBC Literary Competition. She was the founding poetry editor for The Walrus magazine and has edited several books of poetry. She has taught at The New School,[7] the University of Calgary, and the University of Pennsylvania. Her archives are held at York University in Toronto, Ontario,[8] and at Simon Fraser University's Special Collections in Vancouver, BC.

Zolf’s video translation of three poems from Janey’s Arcadia [9] has shown at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Dunlop Art Gallery and other venues. Among her many collaborations, she wrote the film The Light Club of Vizcaya: A Women’s Picture, directed by New York artist Josiah McElheny, which premiered at Art Basel Miami [10] and showed at the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Arts Club of Chicago and elsewhere. She also conducted the first collaborative MFA in Creative Writing ever, The Tolerance Project.[11]

Brian Teare's review of Human Resources in the Winter 2008 Lambda Book Report situates Zolf as "one of an extremely talented generation of Canadian lesbian[12]/queer writers whose innovative cross-genre work comes to us after that of radical foremothers Nicole Brossard, Gail Scott and Erin Mouré."[13]

She is the daughter of author Larry Zolf.


  • 1999: Her Absence, this Wanderer. Ottawa: BuschekBooks.
  • 2004: Masque. Toronto: The Mercury Press.
  • 2007: Human Resources. Toronto: Coach House Books.
  • 2008: Shoot & Weep. Vancouver: Nomados.
  • 2010: Neighbour Procedure. Toronto: Coach House Books.
  • 2014: Janey's Arcadia. Toronto: Coach House Books.

See also