John Lent was born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia in 1948; he grew up in Edmonton, Alberta. He studied at the University of Alberta from 1965-71, concentrating in his graduate studies on Modernist art movements and experiments with form. He was taught by the noted Canadian novelist, Sheila Watson, and the Canadian playwright, Wilfred Watson. Lent's thesis was on the plays of T.S. Eliot: an analysis of "the schizophrenic adjustment we all have to make to the demands of Western society--a society that imposes material, social and spiritual roles". Lent pursued Doctoral studies at York University on Malcolm Lowry and the issue of subjectivity.

For more than twenty years Lent has taught English literature and Creative Writing at various universities: Alberta, Notre Dame (Nelson), Regina and (mainly at) Okanagan University College in Vernon where he lives with his wife, Jude Clarke, a painter and writer. His sequence of stories in Monet's Garden, now into its third printing, follows the members of a dsyfunctional family from childhood into marriage, from the interior of B.C. to the heartland of France. His follow-up collection of connected fictions is So It Won't Go Away (Thistledown, 2005). "My continuing interest," he says, "is the relationship between consciousness and notions of narrative in both fiction and poetry."

Lent has also co-authored a collection of conversations about writing with "Mr. Canadian Postmodern,"; Robert Kroetsch, Abundance. It's the fourth release from the Mackie Lake House Writer-in-Residence Project.

John's Lent's The Path to Ardroe (Thistledown 2012) is described as a novel about the terror and delight of accepting oneself completely and "an exploration of friendship and its limits, life changes and the transforming culture and sub-cultures that altered North American life in the 80s and 90s, especially changes in sexual awareness and the aesthetics of art."

Also a singer/songwriter, Lent sings in a roots/jazz group, the Lent/Fraser/Wall trio, accompanied by guitarists Neil Fraser and Shelby Wall. They have released several CDs, including Shadow Moon (2005). Lent's first CD of original songs is Thicker than Water (1991), with the Lent Brothers Band. He has also appeared on a variety of CDs, making guest appearances as a background vocalist on other people?s work,

A founding member of Kalamalka Press and the Kalamalka Institute for Working Writers, Lent is also a co-creator of the George Ryga Prize for Social Awareness in B.C. literature in conjunction with Ken Smedley of George Ryga House in Summerland and Alan Twigg of BC BookWorld.

He has been shortlisted for the Re-Lit Award and shortlisted for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.

In 2018, as a veteran vocalist John Lent released his sophisticated CD of original, often bluesy songs, Strange Ground, as the first of five projected CDs for The Lent Brothers project involving his four brothers who are also musicians. In 2019, he rebounded as a writer with A Matins Flywheel (Thistledown $20), a remarkble poetry-prose memoir of serious reckonings. His successful quadruple-bypass surgery and his wife Jude's serious health challenges--although seldom referenced in the text of his diary-like reports from 2014 to 2017--were no doubt transformed into constructive catalysts for his "de-romanticized" exploration of "the fragility of so-called cleverness" and other states of anxious distraction. For anyone who hankers for release from day-to-day duties and ambitions, beyond one's practical, survivalist self, it's a meditative confessional to re-acquaint oneself with what it feels like to be "truly blessed,wonder-filled, wonder-full." A Matins Flywheel is an honest and penetrating exploration of the mutability of vulnerability to truthfully monitor what it is to be one human in a gigantic world.


A Rock Solid (Dreadnought, 1978)

Wood Lake Music (Harbour, 1982)

Frieze (Thistledown, 1984)

The Face in the Garden (Thistledown, 1990)

Monet's Garden (Thistledown, 1996)

Black Horses, Cobalt Suns (Greenboathouse Books, 2000)

So It Won't Go Away (Thistledown, 2005)

Abundance [with Robert Kroetsch] (Kalamalka Press, 2007) $10 978-0-97380574-1

Cantilevered Songs (2009)

The Path to Ardroe (Thistledown 2012)

A Matins Flywheel (Thistledown 2019) $20 978-1771871914

[BCBW 2019] "Poetry" "Fiction"