John Lent

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, The Path To Ardroe, was released by Thistledown Press in the spring of 2012.

Lent has read his from his work in France, England and the USA, and has given Canada Council Readings of his work across Canada over the past twenty-five years, most recently in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Edmonton, Calgary and Victoria. He has taught Creative Writing & Literature at various institutions in this country for the past forty years, and has, most recently, taught at The Sage Hill Writing Experience and The Victoria School of Writing.  He has been writer in residence at Red Deer College and a resident writer at The Wallace Stegner House and The Leighton Artists Colony at The Banff Centre For The Arts. His most recent novel, The Path To Ardroe, is a novel that has taken over a decade to write and surfaces from experiences Lent had living in Strasbourg, France, in 1988, and Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1995.

Aesthetically, Lent will tell you that he has specialized in exploring the narrative forms connected to the genre of stream of consciousness fiction.  He strives for a unique, unprecedented intimacy in his writing that comes from years of playing with different ways to represent subjectivity/consciousness in narrative,and years of studying writers like Malcolm Lowry, James Joyce, Céline, Margaret Laurence and Alistair Macleod.  Lent has published and presented critical articles on spatial form in these kinds of  narrative in the work of Thomas DeQuincey, Malcolm Lowry, Kristjana Gunnars, Mavis Gallant, Wilfred Watson, Sheila Watson & Robert Kroetsch.  Lent considers The Path To Ardroe to be a breakthrough result of all this work and hopes to reach a wide audience through it.

Lent lives in Vernon, BC, with his wife, the artist Jude Clarke, and plays in The Lent/Fraser/Wall Trio, a jazz and roots group.  He is one of the founders of Kalamalka Press and The Kalamalka Institute For Working Writers, and though he has taught Creative Writing and Literature classes for years, and served as the Regional Dean, North Okanagan, for Okanagan College, for the past five years, John Lent is currently, and happily, retired.


Books


 

novel

320 pages / paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available


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REVIEWS

The Path to Ardroe
 

ISBN: 978-1-927068-01-4

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 Peter’s 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 pretense, while taking stock of the people and events who have made her who she really is. But it will be Peter Chisholm at the novel’s 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.


 

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