Chris Galvin is a Canadian writer, editor and photographer with one foot in Canada and the other in Viet Nam. She writes mostly about food, nature, and Viet Nam.

Her essay Bombshell was chosen as runner-up for best creative nonfiction in Briarpatch Magazine‘s 2015 Writing in the Margins contest. Flood Season was a finalist for the 2012 Best of the Net prize, and Discovering Hến Rice in Central Việt Nam won third place (shared) as well as the Readers’ Choice Award in the 2015 I Must Be Off! Travel Essay Contest.

Chris has had her writing and photographs appear in various anthologies and literary journals, including Descant, Asian Cha, PRISM International, Room, and others. She has written in Vietnamese and English for Vietnam Tourism Review/Kham Pha Du Lich Vietnam Magazine, Travellive, and Du Lich Giai Tri.

She is currently looking for a home for her recently completed manuscript, Breakfast Under the Bodhi Tree, a book about living, eating, and tour-guiding in Viet Nam. When not writing, Chris can usually be found in the garden, the kitchen, or the middle of a good book. Sometimes, all three practically at once.

28 Responses to About

  1. soaringdragons says:

    Just dropped by and liked a couple of your posts. The river of stones reminds what a friend once told me about living in Africa where some people taught him to carry a small stone in his pocket–a ‘gratitude’ stone to remind him to be grateful. Cheers!

  2. soaringdragons says:

    I wish I knew, it has been a while. But now that you ask me, I’m starting to think I might have heard or read it somewhere! The trials of confabulation! Cheers.

  3. soaringdragons says:

    An Open Invitation To Twitter on Death–Your Own!

    Dear Chris, Graham, Don, Gemma, Steven, and Reid:

    I need your advices. I am asking you six because yours are the only blogs I regularly visit, and you have all been blogging longer than I have. I have a question regarding etiquette: How do I ask 188 bloggers to contribute a 140-character “Dying Saying” to my blog? I’m thinking I’ll just go to each site’s “About” page and paste in the below after posting it on my blog on May 20, 2011. Would that be proper etiquette?


    I am soaringdragons.wordpress.com and I invite you to leave what would be your choice of “last words” in the comments on my post “Twitter on Death–Your Own,” at http://soaringdragons.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/twitter-on-death/.

    This is an invitation that I am manually pasting into the “About” pages of 188 randomly selected blogs. I don’t believe it constitutes spam because I am a real person, not a machine, and the only thing I am requesting from you is inspiring “last words.”

    The inspiration for this request comes from Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, Centenary Edition, Revised, 1981, Harper and Row, Publishers, New York. This book has 187 “dying sayings,” and I’m sure 187 living bloggers can write no less inspiring self-composed epitaphs than the historically famous. Knowing that not everyone will want to participate, I have extended this invitation to 188 bloggers.

    Among the “Dying Sayings,” pp. 369-372, are the below fourteen entries plus my own:

    Newton: “I don’t know what I may seem to the world. But as to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”

    Richard I: “Youth, I forgive thee!” (Said to Bertrand du Gourdon, who shot him with an arrow at Challus. Then, to his attendants, he added): “Take off his chains, give him 100 shillings, and let him go.”

    Augustus (to his friends): “Do you think I have played my part pretty well through the farce of life?”

    Beecher (Henry Ward): “Now comes the mystery.”

    Goethe: “Light, more light!”

    Hannibal: “Let us now relieve the Romans of their fears by the death of a feeble old man.”

    Jackson (“Stonewall”): “Let us pass over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.”

    More (Sir Thomas): “See me safe up [i.e. on ascending the scaffold]; for my coming down, let me shift for myself.”

    Mozart: “You spoke of a refreshment, Emile; take my last notes, and let me hear once more my solace and delight.”

    Poe (Edgar Allan): “Lord, help my soul!”

    Roland (Madame; on her way to the guillotine): “O Liberty! What crimes are committed in thy name!”

    Saladin: “When I am buried, carry my winding-sheet on the point of a spear, and say these words: Behold the spoils which Saladin carries with him! Of all his victories, realms and riches, nothing remains to him but this.”

    Webster (Daniel): “Life, life! Death, death! How curious it is!”

    Wordsworth: “God bless you! Is that you, Dora?”

    Soaringdragons: “I have been waiting for this moment since my youth, and it is with extreme anticipation that I wait now.”

    How did I find you? From “Tag Surf” and “Freshly Pressed.”

    Please feel free to compose as many of your own “dying sayings” as you wish in comments, and I will copy and paste them into the main body of my post. Please bear in mind that my blog is P.G. and contains 18,000 words, none of which are swear words. So, the rule is that if your response includes ‘swear words’ (my own private definition being the standard) I will either edit the response or delete it, my option.

    I hope everyone contributes. Cheers!


  4. chris says:

    Hi Soaring Dragons,
    The idea is interesting. Two things come to mind. The first is, why don’t you start this project up on Twitter? The second is that you might want to shorten your open letter somewhat, as many people just turn off when faced with so much text. Perhaps you could shorten the list of quotes, and tighten up the rest a little. Btw, did you notice, from one of my comment replies to someone else, that I actually have that very book from which you quote? As for my own last sentence, I’ll have to think about this.

  5. Vinh Quyen says:

    Hello Chris,
    I’m Nguyen Phuc Vinh Quyen, the author of short story The Siege of Memories that you have posted on Twitter. Thanks for your concern. I hope to see you when you take your trip to Vietnam.
    Vinh Quyen

    • chris says:

      Hi Vinh Quyen,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to drop by my blog and leave this message. Your short story is very moving.

      Are you based in Saigon?

  6. Dining on Sunshine was one of my favorites by. You’re a great writer and I’m aspiring to be the same. I write poetry but hopefully I’ll attain a status as a writer. I’m in the process of publication for my poetry collection, Nostrovia!. Thank you for posting your poetry, they’re interesting to read. Cheers!

    • chris says:

      Hi Jeremiah,
      Thanks so much for your kind comments, and congratulations on your upcoming poetry collection. Keep writing! Love the title you’ve chosen.

  7. Eve Redwater says:

    Hello Chris! I happened by your blog after sifting through the poetry tags. 🙂 I really like what I’ve seen so far – “Tappity-tap” is so simple, but I can just see that sleet right in front of me! I also love your blog’s header image, beautiful!

    All the best,

  8. D... says:

    Hi Chris,

    I was just peeking through your blog. I haven’t had a chance to do a thorough look through, I wonder if you post mostly your own pictures, like photos of the things that inspire your words. I enjoyed the haiku hopscotch. I’ve been looking into haiku and chinese verses as of late. There is something so beautiful about them. I secretly long to be able to write like that, I just need to courage to start. Pen to paper…sigh.

    Hope you’re having a great day/night,

    • chris says:

      Danielle, thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to say Hi! Almost all of the photos are mine. When they aren’t I put the credit under the photo.
      Give haiku a try; if you aren’t happy with the results, you can keep playing with them, and you don’t have to show them to anyone. I find them pleasing to write. Hope you’ll give it a try.

  9. Really looking forward to having a proper read of your blog – thank-you for following mine 🙂


  10. Susan says:

    Hello Chris, I’m stopping by to thank you for your comment on my poem “What He Meant” which I am changing this morning to “The Answer.” I am reposting it for a couple of days. Thank you so much! Your words throughout these writings are all poetic. However difficult it is to stride both worlds, it leads your readers to beauty. Thank you very much.

  11. JulesPaige says:

    Thanks for your visit. I wonder just who visits ‘about me’ pages. So then I am returning the favor.
    I enjoy many poetic voices. But then I’ve been writing a long time. – there are no agents for poets unless you are already famous. And well I’m not so sure I would like the editing process that comes with dealing with publishers. So I might have to go my own route…one day.
    I enjoy reading about many cultures and hope to visit you again. Cheers.

    • chris says:

      Hi Jules, I often wonder the same thing. 🙂 I’ve been enjoying your poetry and small stones for at least a couple of years now. Used to post mostly the same here. I needed to concentrate more on my book though, so my posts have become more Viet Nam and writing oriented. I should really start a separate blog for poems and small stones. And another about food and another about…if I ever find the time. 😀

  12. JulesPaige says:

    Time? Isn’t that a spice of life? Thanks so much for your kind comments (and for letting me know that you’ve been enjoying my writing too 🙂

    I actually only picked six words out of a rather long list. The boys that put up that site…I can only guess it was the older boy’s vocabulary list. I had to look up some of the ones that I used!

    Continued success on what ever writing makes you happy. Please do let me know if you do get another blog up for verse and such or one just about Viet Nam. Living in another country, well it must be home for you now, but I think it could still be quite magical with the unique traditions and customs.

  13. julespaige says:

    Came for a visit and notice you haven’t posted in a while –
    Just hoping all is OK.
    All the best.

  14. Hey, I’m another Canadian recently arrived in Hanoi (here to teach English) and I’m wondering about the English language poetry scene here. But I’m having trouble finding out much about it. Do you know of any regular events or a good place to start looking?

    Nice site. btw. 🙂

    • Chris says:

      Hi Simon, are you on Twitter? I could link you up with some people who could tweet about various literary events, in English, in Ha Noi. If you aren’t on Twitter, I’d be happy to ask them and then pass the info on to you. There are a lot of expat writers in Ha Noi these days.
      Glad you’re enjoying the site!

  15. julespaige says:

    How far are you from Ha Noi? Not that you need to do anything at all… we have a relative who will be spending some time there for a bit. And perhaps you might be able to give me some tips that I can pass along. Places to eat?

    Hope you enjoy your visit to my place. I’m having fun with flash fiction. I will again pass on your site to them so maybe they can read about the area. 🙂

    Now I’ll go and see your latest post… you won something?…

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