Kevin Roberts of Lantzville was born in Adelaide, Australia, in 1940 and arrived in B.C. in 1965 to teach in Dawson Creek. For many years Kevin Roberts taught English and Creative Writing at Malaspina University College.

His first novel Tears in a Glass is a monologue by an Australian soldier who has gone AWOL from the Vietnam War. His collections of fiction are Flash Harry and the Daughters of Divine Light and Picking the Morning Colour. He has published thirteen poetry books, including Deep Line, based on his experiences operating a commercial salmon trolling boat, and S'Ney'mos, about early Nanaimo coal mining and its effects on Aboriginals. Stonefish examines the life of Gauguin in Tahiti. Cobalt 3 is a gripping and courageously frank memoir about coping with cancer.

Writing the Tides contains selected poems as well as unpublished work collected over a three-year period, notably his Mah Fung poem that describes the privations of an indentured Chinese coal mine worker in 1873 in Nanaimo. "There was no written history of the Chinese miners who lived and died in the coal mines in those times," Roberts says, "so I invented this persona who was tragically exploited in both countries. His life was reduced by the Coal managers to a mere number because they could not pronounce his name."

Lions is told from the eyes of a small boy and his family in Adelaide in World War II. It offers both poignant and comical events which reveal the deep tension and fear of the relentless Japanese advance towards Australia.

Including a hockey team called the Didgeridoo All-Stars, Kevin Roberts' novel She'll be Right (Pilot Hill Press) is a comic mystery that revisits Kitsilano when it was still a Yuppie-free zone. "I didn't want to write a standard book of fiction," Roberts says, "I wanted to write something original, a true 'novel.'" The quest of the protagonist Imogen to uncover the identity of her parents leads her to an enclave of Australians living in Fred's House on East 1st Avenue in Vancouver, as well as Adelaide, Mexico, Telegraph Creek and Vancouver Island. With the help of her Australian boyfriend, Imogen wants to unravel her genetic background partly for the sake of her unborn child. Those were days, my friend, we thought they'd never end. She'll be Right is the second release from a literary press on Saltspring Island, operated by writers William Gough and Caren Moon. "May our books be carried around the world like lanterns," writes Gough, "each holding a necessary spark."

Also from Gough's press, Kevin Roberts' Helsingor: The True Story of Hamlet and Horatio (Pilot Hill 2010) is a limited edition novel that focuses on the buffoon-like character of Horatio, a would-be actor, and his friendship with the Shakespearean tragic hero Hamlet that arises from their raucous student days in Wittenburg. Roberts offers a tragic-comic exploration of the court intrigues at Elsinor, leading to the death of the Prince of Denmark. Helsingor is the name of the castle from which Horatio tells the tale of how the upstart Fortinbras eventually usurped power from Hamlet.



Cariboo Fishing Notes (Beau Geste, 1973)
Five Poems (Cambridge School of Art, 1974)
West Country (Oolichan, 1975)
Deepline (Harbour, 1978)
S'Ney'mos (Oolichan, 1980)
Heritage (Harbour, 1981)
Stonefish (Oolichan, 1982)
Nanoose Bay Suite (Oolichan, 1983)
Above Marshall Lake (Eleftheria, 1985)
Red Centre Journal (Wakefield, 1992)
Poems (Hawthorne, 1993)
Writing the Tides: New and Selected Poetry (Ronsdale, 2006)
Lions (Pilot Hill Press 2014) 978-1-927046-30-2

Fiction Collections:

Flash Harry and the Daughters of Diving Light (Harbour, 1982)
Picking The Morning Colour (Oolichan, 1985)
Masque & Other Yarns ((Pilot Hill Press, 2014) unpriced 978-1-927046-34-0


Tears in a Glass (D&M, 1989)
She'll Be Right (Pilot Hill Press, 2007) $20 1-896687-98-9
The True Story of Hamlet and Horatio (Pilot Hill Press, 2010) $20 1-896687-97-01
Wiffenpuffs (Pilot Hill Press, 2021) 9781896687544


Black Apples (1980)
Rags and the Magic Pumpkin (1980)
Dust on the Moon (1991)


Cobalt 3 (Ronsdale, 2000)
Flashers and Hoochies: A Memoir (Pilot Hill Press, 2019) unpriced 978-1-927046-56-2

[BCBW 2022] "Fiction" "Health" "Theatre" "Poetry"