Leo Kamen was born in 1951 in Ottawa, son of a Russian mother and a Latvian father, both postwar refugees. In the early 1970s, he left University of Toronto midstream to focus on writing and sculpture, settling in a log cabin two hours north of Toronto. By a twist of fate, he discovered a boarded-up schoolhouse in the nearby town of Craighurst that was once the studio of Emanuel Hahn and Elizabeth Wyn Wood, two of Canada’s great sculptors. He lived there for three years—sculpting, taking photographs, and putting up shows for local artists—before moving back to Toronto to start a family. In 1982, he became manager of the Tatay Gallery. In 1985 he opened the Leo Kamen Gallery at 80 Spadina Avenue, where he has remained for 25 years. In 2000, he began to focus on writing; Rolling the Bones: A Memoir, his first book, was published in September 2010.