Join me on Sunday, July 10th at 2:00 pm at the Nanaimo Harbourfront Library where I will be reading along with my good friend, novelist George Szanto. Free event. Everyone welcome!
Jack Tartarus, a photographer, has returned to his family’s house on Crab, an island off the east coast of Vancouver Island. After mulling it over for ten years, Jack has decided to tear his family’s house down, board-by-board, just as his father built it up. He purchases a wrecking bar. Struggling with the first piece of siding, his wrecking bar jammed between ancient planks, it seems the house is determined to remain. The people on Crab Island are also angrily opposed to his plan—including his responsible sister, his self-centered niece, a beautiful woman he knew intimately long ago, and Turtle, the hardware store clerk and the island’s self-proclaimed guardian.
In a story about families and family history, Jack’s calculated plans for demolition are fired by the memory of his parents and the other losses he has felt. Like the others who have retreated to Crab Island, Jack has come to a place where he must make peace with the house, in order to construct his future.
When award-winning political journalist and nonfiction author Kim Goldberg began studying the ancient martial art of Liuhebafa in 1998, it had an unexpected effect on her writer’s voice: she fell silent for nearly a decade. When the words finally returned, they came as poems. Ride Backwards On Dragon is her mapping of that journey through the alien and tumultuous landscape of inner alchemy and outer upheaval, leading her ultimately to a discovery of wholeness. Goldberg uses the 66-move sequence of this little known martial art to frame several levels of narrative through a lyrical trajectory of poems. There is a relationship gone awry, a quest for immortality, an ancient pre-coital struggle between green dragon and white tiger, and finally an emergence of voice.
In a series of endnotes, Goldberg decodes the Taoist metaphysical symbolism of the 66 ancient titles of the movements, revealing them to be a blueprint for living a life. Ride Backwards on Dragon was a Finalist for Canada’s Gerald Lampert Award for poetry.