Patrick Lane

Patrick Lane

Patrick Lane was one of Canada’s pre-eminent poets, with a distinguished career that spanned 50 years and more than 20 volumes of poetry, as well as fiction and non-fiction books. Lane won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry in 1978 for his collection Poems, New and Selected. His debut novel, Red Dog, Red Dog, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. He was also the author of the acclaimed memoir There Is A Season, which won the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence. In 2014, Lane was invested into the Order of Canada, in recognition of his contribution to Canadian poetry and literature. He died on March 7, 2019 in Victoria, B.C., where he lived with his wife, the poet Lorna Crozier.


Ablaze with a savage compassion, Deep River Night is a vast, sweeping novel of war, loss, violence, and forgiveness. This is Patrick Lane’s song of experience, written in a prose of shadow and light, exquisite as an ink painting, exploring the ways the past will not leave us alone.” — Steven Price


Deep River Night

World War Two vet Art Kenning is the alcoholic first-aid man in an isolated sawmill village in the interior of B.C., where he dreads the sound of the five whistles that summon him to the mill floor whenever a worker is hurt. Traumatized by an incident in Holland, when he stood by while members of his unit committed a horrific act, he loses himself in drink and in memories of the love affair he had with a woman in wartime Paris. But the sad comfort of his self-imposed detachment is shattered when one of the most powerful men at the mill arrives at his door late one evening to ask for his help.

Alternating with Art’s story are the stories of Joel, a teenaged runaway who owes his life to Art; Wang Po, the mill’s cook and a survivor of the Rape of Nanjing; Alice, a young Indigenous girl sold from a residential school; and Cliff, a Métis man with a hidden past. These lives, and more, intertwine to reveal a complex, morally ambiguous community where the undercurrents of violence and complicity are never far from the surface.
<h3>DIVE DEEPER</h3>
<strong>The Next Chapter</strong>
<li>“The Collected Poems of Patrick Lane” with poet Patrick Lane (Extended interview)” — <a href=""><em></em></a></li>
<li>“Patrick Lane: Finding my words again when even the smallest pronoun defeated me” — <a href=""><em>The Globe and Mail</em></a></li>
<li>“‘I think it was poetry that saved me from killing myself or killing others’: remembering Patrick Lane, 1939–2019” — <a href=""><em>Quill &amp; Quire</em></a></li>


8:30 PM
A Tribute to Patrick Lane
Oct 17 @ 8:30 PM MT - 9:45 PM MT

Patricia A. Whelan Performance Hall, Central Library

800 3 Street SE