The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld on Wednesday's Access Utah

Jul 2, 2014

Justin Hocking, author of a new memoir, “The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld,” writes: “Fifteen years ago, I first dove into the immense, dark waters of Melville's masterpiece...I became obsessed with a book about obsession.


More so when I discovered some critical work that compared Moby-Dick's narrative trajectory with Carl Jung's concept of the night sea journey—the dark passages that we all embark on, where we find ourselves floating and directionless, frightened and alone. At age thirty, I relocated to New York City. With no job prospects, it was both the boldest and the most senseless move of my life..[I]n the wake of of a painful break-up and a traumatic robbery, I soon found myself on my own night sea journey. It was a time during which, to paraphrase Joan Didion, I lost my own life's narrative. Without my own script, I clung to Moby-Dick as a kind of postmodern survival guide.” “Wonderworld,” published by Graywolf Press, also takes us into the worlds of skateboarding and New York surfing culture, and Wednesday night meetings of men striving to overcome addictions.

Justin Hocking was raised in Colorado and California and has been avidly involved in skateboarding and surfing for over twenty years. As the Executive Director of the Independent Publishing Resource Center since 2006, he is highly active in the worlds of DIY publishing, creative community-building, and alternative literature. He created and contributed to the anthology “Life and Limb: Skateboarders Write from the Deep End;” his work has also appeared in the Rumpus, Orion, Thrasher, The Normal School, the Portland Review, Portland Noir and elsewhere.

He is a co-founder, with A.M. O'Malley, of the year-long Certificate Program in Creative Writing at the Independent Publishing Resource Center, and also teaches in the Wilderness Writing MFA program at Eastern Oregon University. He lives in Portland, Oregon.