Michael Mercer, born in Liverpool, sought out the American/English poet Conrad Aiken in Cape Cod in 1967. Mercer was 24 at the time and hadn't read anything by Aiken. Mercer has said his stageplay Goodnight Disgrace, about Aiken's complex relationship with his protege--the alcoholic genius Malcolm Lowry--was written as "an exorcism of my insult to Aiken." The play successfully premiered in Nanaimo in 1984 and has had numerous stagings since. It was published in book form as Goodnight Disgrace (Talonbooks, 1986) and received the Chalmers Award that year for Canadian drama. Michael Mercer has long been one one of B.C.'s most accomplished screenwriters.

[BCBW 2003]