Kagan Goh is an author, award-winning filmmaker, multidisciplinary artist, playwright, actor, mental health advocate, and an activist. Originally from Singapore, he is a respected and established voice in Vancouver’s literary community. In 1993, at the age of twenty-three, he was diagnosed with manic depression. In his new poetic memoir, Surviving Samsara (Caitlin Press, 2021), Kagan recounts his struggles with manic depression, breaking the silence around mental illness, as he wanders through the highs of mania, the terrors of psychosis, and the lows of depression. From the welfare office to the hospital ward and many places in between, Kagan struggles to discern the difference between mental health breakdowns and spiritual breakthroughs. Facing his experiences with courage and authenticity, he shares memories of family altercations, pushed to the brink of living on the street, and psychiatrist visits. In this work, he explores his diagnosis of bipolar mood disorder not only as a medical condition but as a spiritual emergence— a vehicle for personal growth, healing and transcendence. Earlier, in 2012, Select Books in Singapore published his poetic memoir, Who Let in the Sky?, that focused upon his relationship with his father. Kagan’s documentary films include the award-winning ‘Mind Fuck’ (1996) and ‘Stolen Memories’ (2012), both have been broadcast on national television and viewed in film festivals across Canada.
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At the November 26, 2021 gathering of Surrey Muse, Kagan Goh will introduce his new title Surviving Samsara in Just Released. More about the event is here: friday-nov-26
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