Place of Departure


Schenectady, N.Y. to Walpole, Mass., Philadelphia to Chicago to Kansas City… As a child, I had no say, saw place as something that might not last, escaped into the unfailing world of books.

Finally, then choices ― Vermont for college, Italy like home rediscovered, and graduate school in British Columbia leading me at long last to a place to stay, a place to write about and to stand up for. Though I’m first and foremost a prose writer, it is in poems that I freeze-frame lake and log boom, new moon, clear-cut cedars, still-tall pines and the Friday night sidewalks of skid row Vancouver.

And yet, after decades, BC has quietly begun to serve also as the template for my novels and stories, providing an achingly beautiful place of departure for the ravaged world of my climate fiction. Even as we who live here simultaneously spoil and protect it, BC becomes ever more my platea, the open space that sustains me, from which I declaim the truths I have the honor of glimpsing in sea and fellow place keepers and wide wide sky…

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