"John Skapski has one of the best balanced minds I have ever encountered... he is the indisputable king of fish and fishing metaphor on the west coast of Canada."
-- J. Michael Yates
"The more profound the truth you wish to teach, the more subtly you must seduce the senses..."
Nietzsche's aphorism is embodied beautifully in John Skapski's collection.
This work explores the elemental power (and menace) of the West Coast sea-faring experience with an ice-cool sensory awareness and a heightened alertness to the richness (and treachery) of language. At one level many of the poems are elegies to a disappearing way of life and to lost lives, caught in sharply focused vignettes. Yet the texts also become existential meditations often sparse, frequently enigmatic about identity and memory, a voyage into psychic depths.
-- Paul Green, author of The Qliphoth
About the Author
John Skapski was born in London, England, in the middle of the Second World War, to Polish and English descent. After the war, his family moved to a small town in Paraguay, where there were no roads, water, or electricity. After immigration to Vancouver, Canada, Skapski got involved in the local fishing industry and studied at UBC, where he, influenced by J. Michael Yates, switched over from Engingeering to Honours English.
After completing his Masters degree in Creative Writing, Skapski started gillnetting on his own in the Steveston area, and continued to do so throughout his law studies at UBC. As a practicing lawyer, he gradually diminished his fishing duties to stay home with his family. Now, he still lives in Steveston and enjoys writing and playing ice hockey with his son.