Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1943, Robert Ziegler came to Canada via California in 1969 in response to the Viet Nam War, hoping to write poetry for a living. In his self-published memoir, The Draft Dodger Dues: A Banquet of Crow (Trafford unpriced), dedicated to his "fourth and final wife", he recalls living in Powell River as a school teacher and receiving directions from log house builder Allan Mackie to a vacant log cabin on Francois Lake. "When school ended, I was informed that my degrees were no longer valid within the Canadian school system," he writes, "partly because Americans with degrees were flooding the Canadian job market and restrictions were being put into place for Canadian protection." Inspired by Eric Collier's homesteading classic, Three Against the Wilderness," he and his companion naively headed north. "Before we left, two of my poems were published in the Powell River newspaper, and that had the simultaneous efffect of squirting mud into the eye of the gossips, and of convincing me that I had clearly what it took; I was going to make a living as a poet living in a log cabin out on the land. I didn't need America or The System. Eventually my parents would be exonerated; their son was more than a hippie deserter on drugs: he was a published poet raising a happy family on a pristine lake in northern British Columbia. He would dedicate his first book to his parents, come home and visit when his busy schedule allowed, and would fly them up to the homestead to watch their grandchildren play." It didn't quite work out that way.While raising a family in Prince George, Robert Ziegler, a professional therapist and counsellor, spends his free time landscape gardening, writing, painting, meditating, and practising Tai Chi. 141209511-5


The Draft Dodger Dues: A Banquet of Crow (Trafford Publishing, 2006).

[BCBW 2006]