Steven Heighton Memorial Event: Toronto

May 18, 2023 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Queen Books
914 Queen St E
Toronto, ON M4M 1J5
Steven Heighton Memorial Event: Toronto @ Queen Books | Toronto | Ontario | Canada

Join us in celebrating the publication of Instructions for the Drowning and remembering the late Steven Heighton. The event will feature words and readings from Michael Redhill, Michael Holmes, and Michael Ondaatje, along with some of Heighton’s music. Refreshments will be provided. The event will take place at Queen Books in Toronto on Thursday, May 18 at 7PM ET.

More details here.

Order your copy of Instructions for the Drowning, here.

Check out Steven’s previous work, Reaching Mithymna, here.


Steven Heighton (1961–2022) was a writer and musician. His nineteen previous books include the novels Afterlands, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, and the bestselling The Shadow Boxer; the Writers’ Trust Hilary Weston Prize finalist memoir Reaching Mithymna: Among the Volunteers and Refugees on Lesvos; and The Waking Comes Late, winner of the Governor General’s Award for Poetry.


“To say Heighton is an immensely talented writer is true enough but insufficient … As good a writer as Canada has ever produced.”—National Post

A man recalls his father’s advice on how to save a drowning person, but struggles when the time comes to use it. A wife’s good deed leaves a couple vulnerable at the moment when they’re most in need of security—the birth of their first child. Newly in love, a man preoccupied by accounts of freak accidents is befallen by one himself. In stories about love and fear, idealisms and illusions, failures of muscle and mind and all the ways we try to care for one another, Steven Heighton’s Instructions for the Drowning is an indelible last collection by a writer working at the height of his powers.