Is addiction a disease, a sin, a sign of hypersensitivity, a personal failing, or a unique resource for the creative mind? However it is defined, addiction can have devastating consequences, often shattering lives, sundering families, causing impoverishment, and even triggering suicide. Yet it can also be a source of inspiration. In these frank essays, leading American and Canadian writers explore their surprisingly diverse personal experiences with this complex phenomenon, candidly recounting what happened when alcohol, heroin, smoking, food, gambling, or sex — sometimes in combination — took over their lives.
Lorna Crozier's award-winning books of poetry include The Blue Hour of the Day and Inventing the Hawk. She is also the author of the memoir Small Beneath the Sky and the editor of several anthologies. Patrick Lane is the author of more than twenty books of poetry, as well as the best-selling memoir What the Stones Remember, about emerging from a lifetime of addiction. Both live in Saanichton, BC.