Monica Kidd is an award-winning storyteller and researcher whose work is rooted in wildness, and a physician concerned with child and maternal health, and equity.
After growing up on the prairies and doing a Bachelor of Science (Ecology/Zoology) at the University of Calgary, she moved to Kingston, Ontario, where she graduated with a Master of Science (Biology) degree at Queen’s. During that time, she did field work in remote areas of Quebec, Labrador and Norway.
After finishing grad school, she stayed on in Kingston to work for Cuso International, building on her volunteer experience at the campus stations CJSW in Calgary and CFRC in Kingston, and working with a small team to produce a series of radio documentaries about community and international development called Borderlands for the Canadian campus and community radio network.
At the end of this project, she returned to Labrador, and promptly fell head over heels with the East. In 1998, she moved to St. John’s, where she worked for CBC Radio until 2004, hosting regional shows and producing reportage, documentaries and a radio play that won national and international awards; she finished up as CBC’s National Science Reporter and an editor for the popular national science program Quirks & Quarks. Her more recent freelance work has published in The Toronto Star, Alberta Views, and Canadian Geographic and broadcast on CBC Radio. She stays connected to audio through occasional pieces she produces for Voice of Bonne Bay Radio (vobb.org), and her website for poetry and field recordings, curiaudio.com.
She also began making short films in Newfoundland and Labrador, beginning with the independent productions Multiplicity (2001), on the artistry of penmanship; The World’s Last Lunch Counter (2002) about a fading community haunt on Queen Street East in Toronto; The Home Front (2003), reflecting on wars at home and abroad; praxis:Twillingate (2007), a lyrical film about rural medicine in Newoundland and Labrador; and The Aviatrix (2009), a documentary honouring recalling Amelia Earhart’s trip to Trepassey, Newfoundland and Labrador. She made her directorial debut with the National Film Board of Canada in 2021 with The Storm. Described as “a sharply etched tale of disruption and rebirth,” The Storm is an animated short reflecting on what it means to bring a baby into a world gripped by a global health crisis.
In 2004, she transitioned to medicine, completing medical school and family medicine residency at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Since 2011, she has been working as a family doctor in Alberta and in Newfoundland, with special interests in global health, child & maternal health, and medical humanities. She has teaching appointments at the University of Calgary and Memorial University, and is an Associate Editor of Humanities at the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
The evolution continues. In 2016, she began Whisky Jack Letterpress in Calgary, producing small works such as posters and broadsides. In 2017, she went back to her roots in biology and spent her first month in Antarctica working as an expedition guide, lecturing on the natural and cultural history of the extreme south; she returns occasionally for repeat performances. She is currently completing (virtually) a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Non-Fiction at University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Monica has published seven books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, most recently Chance Encounters with Wild Animals (Gaspereau Press, 2019). She divides her time between Calgary and St. John’s and is mom to three.