The name Thomas Trofimuk is an obvious pseudonym. Nobody’s sure what his real name is, or what he actually looks like, or where he lives (the picture below is a stock photo — if you search “images of writers” and “idiot” on the Boondoggled search engine, it’s what you get — right behind Dostoevsky and goddamned Joanna Trollope). There are Trofimuks scattered throughout Canada and US, as well as in Russia and Spain. Though there are said to be pictures of this person in existence, it’s highly unlikely they are what they seem to be. Rumours abound. One rumour suggests his real name is Thelonious Pinsky and that he lives on Vancouver Island. A website tagged The Failed Buddhist.org suggests that he’s actually a woman, teaching at the University of Lethbridge. There is no question that this fictitious Trofimuk person writes fine poetry, short-fiction, and novels. Trofimuk has published poetry, short-fiction, and novels. Waiting for Columbus, is his third novel.

His first novel, The 52nd Poem, explores the remnants of a love affair as a man sends a poem a week to his lover over the period of a year. The book went on to win a few awards including the 2003 Alberta Novel of the Year and the City of Edmonton Book Prize.

A second novel, Doubting Yourself to the Bone, is set in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and has received high praise from critics – including being named as one of the top 100 must read books for 2006 by the Globe & Mail.

In 2009, Thomas’ third novel, Waiting for Columbus, burst onto the international stage, with a Canadian (McClelland & Stewart) and US (Knopf-Doubleday) release. In 2010, the book was released in the UK (Picador), and will be published in Serbia, Brazil and Poland. The book was released as an “audio book,” and was optioned for film in the summer of 2010. Waiting for Columbus, won the City of Edmonton Book Prize and was short-listed for the Alberta novel of the year.

Trofimuk is rumoured to have been a founding father of Edmonton’s Raving Poets movement, which was an open-stage poetry event held in a bar, with the poets backed up by the Raving Poets Band. He played piano (badly but with temerity) in the Raving Poets band.

He is happily married to his first reader, Cindy-Lou. They have sons, a couple of fine young men in their early 30s, and a daughter who, at 16, is still very tall for her age.

Trofimuk has recently taken up kayaking. He loves maps, and charts. He really likes new bed sheets. He’s a huge fan of single malt whisky. He loves paper, and journals. He has been known to smoke Cuban cigars. If you offer him wine, he’ll very likely accept. When he wakes up, he is delighted to be alive. He will very often say things like: It has been so delightful to have lived — to have been alive.

His latest novel, “This is All a Lie” is set for a fall 2017 release with Enfield & Wizenty, and a fifth novel, “Seven Moments,” will be for sale in the spring of 2017.  New projects (novels in progress) include “The Elephant on the Charles Bridge” and “Big Mountain.” Also in motion is a quasi-epistolary novel exploring the nature of constraints.

Regardless of having a mailing address in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, one persistent story has it that Trofimuk actually lives in a small town in British Columbia, in the mountains-possibly Slocan City, or somewhere near Kaslo, B.C. with his wife, daughter and cat of unknown colour and demeanor. Some say he lives just outside of Golden, B.C., where he is an ardent fly fisherman, bathes outdoors and likes to tromp through the woods with several Irish wolf-hounds. A 1979 article that appeared in a Belgian literary magazine called Zeist, suggested Trofimuk lives in Paris-somewhere in the eleventh arrondissement. A 1999 article in an on-line cigar magazine had an oblique reference to the fact that Trofimuk, by necessity, must live close to a cigar shop. A 2003 Canadian federal government report on the Canadian wine industry made an indirect and somewhat puzzling mention of a Trofimuk residence somewhere in the Osoyoos region of southern B.C. Most recently, rumours about Trofimuk living and writing at a nudist resort south of Cancun, Mexico have been floating around FaceBook and Twitter — none of these rumours have been substantiated.

— Rudy Rubinski is a freelance journalist who lives in Langley, B.C., Canada.

Below, are a couple biographies that promise not to pull your leg (for the most part)

Thomas Trofimuk

Thomas Trofimuk has published both poetry and fiction in literary magazines across the country, and on CBC radio, podcasts, CKUA, and the RoadHome.FM stream. He is a founding member of the Stroll of Poets and the Raving Poets movement in Edmonton. He was also the festival director of the ROAR Spoken Word Festival for two years. His first novel, The 52nd Poem won the George Bugnet Novel of the Year Award and the City of Edmonton Book Prize at the 2003 Alberta Book Awards. His second novel, the critically acclaimed Doubting Yourself to the Bone, was named as one of the Globe and Mail’s top 100 must-read books for 2006. A third book, Waiting for Columbus, was released in August 2009 in the US, Canada, the UK, Serbia, Poland, Brazil, China and Quebec (in translation). Waiting for Columbus won the City of Edmonton Book Prize, was a nominee for the 2011 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, it was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick for fall 2010 and was picked as one of Richard and Judy’s 100 Books of the decade. A new novel – This is All a Lie, is to be released in fall 2017. Thomas can be found on-line at www.thomastrofimuk.com. He lives (and writes) in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Thomas Trofimuk

Thomas Trofimuk is an Edmonton writer who does not come lightly to the blank page. He has three books out in the world (The 52nd Poem, Doubting Yourself to the Bone, and Waiting for Columbus) and has just completed a fourth, This is All a Lie, to be published in fall 2017. He’s a long-time teacher at Youthwrite, and a world famous, spasmodic dancer who trained with the Bolshoi Ballet Company.