Mark Gordon

Mark Gordon grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada's east coast. After attending McGill University for three years, he lived in Israel, where he worked as a teacher, and continued to develop his writing skills. He returned to Canada, graduated from Dalhousie University, and wrote his first novel in Montreal when he was twenty-five. For the past twenty-seven years he has continued to write and teach English to newcomers to Canada.

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Author Biography

I was born in the middle of World War 2, and grew up in the seaport city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It wasn't until years later, when I moved inland to Montreal and Toronto, that I realized what a strong effect the ocean had had on my view of the world. It was always nearby, immense and uncontrollable, breathing billows of fog and the scent of brine over the town. I didn't write poems as a child, but remember sitting on my father's knee as he read me the poetry of Shelley and Keats.

At McGill University I discovered literature, and a band of poets who had been high school students of the eminent poet Irving Layton. Montreal was a cauldron of poetry and prose writing back in the late fifties, inhabited by such luminaries as Layton, Louis Dudek, Leonard Cohen, and Hugh MacLennan.It was hard not to catch the fervour. And I wrote my first ever poem in the spring. Something about the sun breaking open like an egg and falling on the tail fins of cars.

I lived in Israel for three years in the early sixties, worked on a kibbutz for three months, and taught ESL in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Many years later, this experience became inspiration for my novel The Kanner Aliyah.

In the mid seventies, after working as an electronics technician and letter carrier for six years in southwestern Ontario, I moved to Toronto and wrote the five-novel series that began with The Kanner Aliyah and ended with The Comfort of the Room. Charlie Sise and his partner, the publicist, Linda Litwack, published The Kanner Aliyah in 1979 and Head of the Harbour in 1983, both through Groundhog Press.

Recently my poetry has been published in numerous literary journals in the United States, in Phantasmagoria, Illuminations, Flint Hills Review, California Quarterly, RiverSedge, The Distillery, Into the Teeth of the Wind, Ascent, Sanskrit, Poet Lore, Quiddity, Linden Avenue Literary Journal (online) and in the anthologies, (online) and Bright Stars 5, An Organic Tanka Anthology. In Canada my recent poetry has appeared in the Canadian Jewish News.

I have plans to publish a collection of poetry and another novel in the near future. My novel, The Snail's Castle, is now available in Kindle and Paperback formats at Amazon.

My daughter, Catherine, and her husband, Martin, live and work in the West Indies. Catherine uses her entrepreneurial skills to create internet businesses and Martin is studying medicine.

I am living in Toronto with my wife, Carol, who worked for many years as an ECE instructor in Metropolitan Toronto Childcare centres. I have taught ESL to newcomers to Canada since 1992, and have mentored novice teachers at the Canadian Centre for Language and Cultural Studies.

My non-literary interests include golf, stock charting, and long walks in the park.

In ending, I would be remiss not to say that I believe the spiritual dimension exists.I often think of our finite state, and the ocean of stars that surrounds us, a realm much larger than I first imagined.

Books by Mark Gordon

The Snail's Castle


Jake Milson has one aim in life— to win the coveted Hollingshead Scholarship to Oxford and to go to England with his girlfriend, Rebecca. Professor Gregory Percival keeps threatening Jake's plans. Although the struggle between Jake and Percival lasts only one semester, it leaves Jake, Rebecca, and Percival's wife, Margaret, different people by book's end.