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, who 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 post-war 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.”
About the author
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. 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.
Toyoshi Yoshihara is an award-winning translator who has worked tirelessly to introduce English-language works of drama to Japanese audiences. A Canadian industrialist, he has translated over seventy Canadian plays into Japanese; heads the Maple Leaf Theatre in Japan; and is an honorary lifetime member of the Canadian Association for Theatre Research.