May 2004
John Pass
ISBN 0-9732765-7-6
4.25 by 5.5 Hand-sewn chapbook
Coloured endpapers 28 pp
100 signed and numbered copies




Full moon floating in the clear warm air. A moon you really could
read by, only a few stars surviving in pale-lit atmosphere. Rare summer moon / floating, sailing we say of those wondrous moments journeying beyond. / The lake is clear and warm in high summer, I told my distant friend / to tempt him to visit . . .

   John Pass lives with his wife, writer Theresa Kishkan, near Sakinaw Lake on BCís Sunshine Coast. His most recent book of poems, Water Stair (Oolichan, 2000), was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Award and for the Governor Generalís Award. His new book Stumbling in The Bloom will be published by Oolichan Books in 2005.

 Cover image: "Fireweed" by Ray Rasmussen and


The following review is used with permission, abcbookworld, 2004

Is it possible to read Keats these days without a smirk, let alone write about beauty without some undermining second thoughts? To “do” beauty is to risk banality, to open oneself to ridicule. To dare it straight out, as John Pass does in his Nowrite.doc (Leaf Press, limited edition chapbook), also “invites despair, despair confronting the unmanageable beauty, the unconstrained beauty no strategy no trope no tone gets true.” As he mows his lawn, repairs the roof, picks raspberries, fixes the toilet and digs potatoes, ruminating all the while on the luxuriant details of his Sunshine Coast surroundings, Pass is a neo-Adam in paradise. If there is a serpent in John Pass’ garden it is the poet’s self-conscious doubts regarding his ability to write about “beauty so complete and complex and aloof and light-footed I often feel useless and burdened before it” But it’s not all roses. There are also kidney stones, a bit of brooding on the deaths of family and friends, worry about his son leaving home and plain old chores. There’s just enough unease in this unabashed paean to keep it from sliding into the bucolic. Whether he is working in his orchard, love-making or lolling in the lake, John Pass conveys a voluptuous sense of place. This chapbook, small enough to fit into a pocket, is a mini-holiday in Eden, a relief from irony, a Thanksgiving hymn. Hannah Main-van der Kamp

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