Dominoes at the Crossroads (by Kaie Kellough)
“Somewhere in this story is a break, a portal, a black hole. It may only be the size of a small pothole on Crémazie Boulevard, or the size of a period between sentences, a semicolon, a semicolony, a sixteenth note’s round head or an island that looks like ink spilled onto a blue map. In 1972 a young woman fell through such an ink spill, one called Ayiti, and a young man reached for her hand and was pulled in after her. They were my grandparents. As they tumbled, they pulled their children in with them. They planned to land somewhere, but couldn’t guess that their imagined somewhere was just another cypher to plunge through.” - excerpt from ‘Navette’ / Dominoes at the Crossroads
Dominoes at the Crossroads represents a vital, poignant voice from the Montréal landscape. Kaie’s writing resonates widely in a world where so many people straddle between cultures and have not one, but multiple roots and homes. We are all, so many of us, displaced and continually searching for our place in the world, literally and figuratively. Dominoes is a poetic ode to this epic and universal search for home and identity, gently anchored into port here in our eclectic city that is Montréal.
Zach Fraser will adapt and direct the work for the stage in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team of artists. “From the first pages of Kaie Kellough’s Dominoes at the Crossroads, I knew I was plunging into a unique and magical tale. Kaie’s collection of loosely connected stories weave together vividly detailed moments in time and space. We voyage across countries and continents, local neighbourhoods, and faraway villages. Themes of departure and return run deep. Part history lesson, part journal, part dream: the reader momentarily escapes through the narrator’s memories, drifting through time.” This will be Zach’s fourth stage adaptation of a literary work.
Kaie Kellough is a novelist, poet, and sound performer based in Montréal. Since 2000, he has toured internationally, written, taught, and collaborated in multi-disciplinary contexts that bridge literature with performance, improvised music, and electronic sound. Kaie’s work draws upon his Afro-Caribbean ancestry to explore migration, belonging, and the suspension of arrival.
Kaie has published 3 collections of poetry, 1 novel, 1 collection of short stories, and 2 sound recordings. His most recent collection of poems, Magnetic Equator (Penguin/McClelland and Stewart), won the 2020 Griffin Trust Prize for Poetry. Kaie was Writer in Residence at Queen’s University in 2020/21.