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    ISBN: 9781772012873 | Paperback

    112 pages | Pub. Date: 20210315
    6 W × 9 H × .3 D inches
    featured | Poetry | Bisac: POE021000
    Rights: WORLD

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A lyrical exploration of memory, family, catastrophe, immigration, and colonialism, Then Now was inspired by the discovery of letters written by Daphne Marlatt’s father, Arthur Buckle. Buckle left England in the early 1930s to join a British accounting firm in multiracial Penang, Malaysia. He continued living and working there until taking leave in 1941, returning after WW II, whose looming threat striates his early letters, and staying until 1951. Decades after the letters’ composition, Marlatt began writing poems in response to them, interwoven with memories they provoked from her postwar childhood there. These poems are written from a sense of place and home on Canada’s West Coast now on the brink of another catastrophe, global climate change, so that throughout the book, “There Then” permeates any “Here Now” of immigrant consciousness and highlights the impermanent quality of “home.”

“How wonderful is it to be a poet and invent such useful and meaningful words as 'otherwhere' or 'betweenships'! Marlatt takes full advantage of her licence to play with words and syntax so as to conflate time and sense.”
Ormsby Review

“Some of Daphne Marlatt’s early writings on her family history, Month of Hungry Ghosts, appeared in The Capilano Review alongside some of my own work on family stories. This was in 1979 and I’ve read and admired Daphne’s work ever since. Her new book Then Now is a deep and intimate study of her father’s bachelor life in Penang in the 1930s. The story is enriched by poems that respond to that long-ago journey and the result is beautifully evocative and compelling.”
—Michael Ondaatje

“Exquisitely explored, the epistemology of a father’s letters reaching out by sea, wanting to touch something familiar, arrives at inbetweenness where time and distance continue building varieties of relationships. Re-inhabiting these material objects, his daughter Daphne Marlatt, now a hybrid bodily being armed with an empathy toward unknowns, shows us how to accountably return our travels to the land we visit.”
—Laiwan

“Reading Daphne Marlatt’s Then Now is intimate, extraordinary, destabilizing. I love this book.”
—Madeleine Thien

By Daphne Marlatt

Daphne Marlatt was at the centre of the West Coast poetry movement of the 1960s, studying at UBC and with many of Donald Allen’s New American Poets, most notably Robert Creeley and Robert Duncan. Her writing includes prose narratives on the Strathcona neighbourhood of Vancouver and of Steveston and several poetry books. In early 2006, she was appointed to the Order of Canada in recognition of a lifetime of distinguished service to Canadian culture.

Read more about Daphne Marlatt


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news | 2021-07-22
Book Recommendations for Vancouver Pride 2021

…editors to recommend their favourite Talon books: Then Now by Daphne Marlatt Editor and poet Catriona Strang … recommends Daphne Marlatt’s Then Now , “a ‘lyrical exploration of memory, … groundbreaking lesbian writer Daphne Marlatt.” Then Now was inspired by the discovery of letters written …


news | 2021-04-26
CBC Books' Spring Poetry List

…Rad’s still , and Daphne Marlatt’s Then Now . If you have not picked up your copies of these …


news | 2021-04-08
You’re invited to our Spring Launch on April 15!

…book still , Daphne Marlatt reading from her book Then Now , Leanne Dunic reading from One and Half of You , …


news | 2021-03-23
And Now for Daphne Marlatt's Then Now!

…Daphne Marlatt’s Then Now is hot off the presses! A lyrical exploration of … catastrophe, immigration, and colonialism, Then Now was inspired by the discovery of letters written … quality of “home.” Pick up your copy of Then Now today! …