Robson Reading Series: Michael Kenyon and John Lent

Name: Robson Reading Series: Michael Kenyon and John Lent

Date: Thursday, November 1

Time: 7:00pm

Location: UBC Bookstore at Robson Square (800 Robson Street, Plaza Level)

Description: Michael Kenyon’s novel “A Year at River Mountain”
Part intellectual mystery and part spiritual adventure, A Year At River Mountain tells the story of an aging actor from Vancouver who has immersed himself in monastic life in China and is now examining his past as an actor, husband, and father. As his Western consciousness grapples with Taoist philosophies and acupressure techniques, he assesses his life and records the struggles of transformation that accompany such thinking.

Michael Kenyon was born in Sale, England, and has lived on the West Coast since 1967. His work has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the SmithBooks/Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Baxter Hathaway Prize in fiction, The Malahat Review Novella Prize, Prism international’s fiction contest, the Journey Prize, the National and the Western Magazine Award. He has worked as a seaman, a diver and a taxidriver. Now he divides his week between Pender Island and Vancouver, having in both places a private therapeutic practice.

John Lent’s novel “The Path to Ardoe”
The Path to Ardroe is an exploration of friendship and its limits, life changes, and the challenges and aspirations of writers. Peter Chisholm, a writer wrestling with his craft, finds himself at forty-two without direction, and so it seems an eerie coincidence to him that unplanned events have conspired to place him in Lochinver, Scotland, developing his next novel, seeking out his former lover, and trying to find a solution to his restlessness and self-imposed fakery. But he has no idea of the fearful ghosts he will conjure. In various states of introspection, Peters friends are also coming to terms with their own life-changing moments. For emerging writer Melissa Picard, on a six-month trip to Strasbourg, France, it will be her struggle with the past criticisms of her writing. Through a budding friendship with a celebrated writer and a transformative affair with an artist, she begins to understand that her challenges are not unique and that to write with a simple purity, the way Derain painted, she must finally listen to her own voice. Another friend, Rick Connelly, at a creative crossroads of self and meaning, is struggling with the control of his writing voice and intently floundering in his need to show what his father meant to him. He seeks the solitude of nature to reshape his instincts about himself and the life path he has chosen. Finally there is Tania, who lost her mother too young and whose immigrant roots shape her in ways she is only beginning to understand. Faced with her own immanent death from pancreatic cancer, she is stripping her life bare of all pretence, while taking stock of the people and events who have made her who she is. But it will be Peter Chisholm at the novels end who, in a profound epiphany, will discover the fulcrum that balances private compromises with the artistic quandaries of the literary life, and it will not be the revelation he assumed.

John Lent has been publishing poetry, fiction and non-fiction nationally and internationally for the past thirty years. His work has appeared in various issues of: The Malahat Review, Event, West Coast Line, NeWest Review, Grain, Prairie Fire, CV2, The New Quarterly, This Magazine, The Canadian Forum, Matrix, Waves, Fiddlehead, The Antigonish Review. He has published eight books of poetry and fiction and a book of conversations with Robert Kroetsch about the writing life, called Abundance. His last novel, So It Won’t Go Away, was short-listed for the BC Book Prizes in 2005, and Thistledown Press released a volume of Lent’s poems called Cantilevered Songs in 2009 that was long-listed for the Re-Lit Award that year. A novel called The Path To Ardroe will be released by Thistledown Press in the spring of 2012. His most recent novel, The Path To Ardroe, is a novel that has taken over a decade to write and surfaces from experiences.

Ticketing: FREE

Open to Public, Recommended for All Who are Interested in a Night of Literary Fun!

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