Saturday, April 05, 2014

It Begins



Very excited to receive copies of bp: beginnings this week. It looks great and, as it's been the focus of my academic research for the last year, it's very satisfying to see all that sweat materialized into print.

From the backcover:

bp: beginnings brings together bpNichol's pre-Martyrology materials in one comprehensive collection, including such key texts as Nichol's first chapbooks Beach Head and Cycles Etc., the minimal lyric sequences of The Other Side of the Room and JOURNEYING & the returns, and various concrete and sound texts such as Lament, The Year of the Frog, and Ballads of the Restless Are. These collected sequences show Nichol developing his talents in both visual poetry and lyricism, pointing the way towards the union of the two forms in the later Martyrology. Combined with The Captain Poetry Poems (published by BookThug in 2011), bp: beginnings now makes all of Nichol's major poetry sequences available to both the avid Nichol specialists and to aficionados of innovative poetry everywhere.

You can order the book directly from BookThug here. It's also available as an ebook (a first for me!)

And there's also the Toronto launch on April 15th, where I'll be doing a roundtable discussion about Nichol's work with Brian Dedora and Lola Tostevin (moderated by Greg Betts). Info on that night here.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Etc Phrases Arrives


My new chapbook from Bookthug is now available. It's sleek, shiny, and very black.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sweet Reading

Everyone in the family is looking forward to attending this reading -- the first time the kids have actually asked if they could come see me read!




Friday, October 04, 2013

Goodwill Finding


My nine year old son is a book-hound like his old man, so we often spend weekends perusing used book stores and thrift stores. This week at Goodwill I picked up several books that I felt I needed for my collection, but that I doubt I'll ever read cover to cover (ex. the Norton collected edition of Shelley's poetry and prose, a nice Faber and Faber edition of The Alexandria Quartet). Among the stacks of Life of Pi and The Sentimentalists, however, I was surprised to find a Green Integer book. Stephen Ratcliffe's SOUND/ (system) is relatively obscure, even among GI books, so it was really quite miraculous to find this collection of poetry north of St. Clair in Toronto.

More surprising, when I flipped through it I found that someone had begun to use the book as the basis for a treated text, with the first 30 or so pages covered with ink sketchings and quotations in a fashion somewhat similar to A Humument. The creator seemed to know what s/he was doing and was informed of the tradition, as the treated section contains quotes from Wallace Stevens and Hopkins's "Pied Beauty". There was also the irony that Ratcliffe's text is itself a found collection, based on the letters of Henry James. Judging by the confidence of the drawing, I'd hazard that the creator is more a visual artist who is playing with textuality, rather than a poet branching out into visual poetics, but I could be wrong.













Any Toronto-based poet or artist willing to own up to this cool creation?

[Scans by the wonderful Sharon Harris]

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Reading in Eden


I'll be reading at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival on Sunday, September 15th. It'll be my first time at the event, and I'm honoured to be included as part of the lineup for the 25th anniversary of the festival. I'm slated at 3:30 at The Common site with young adult authors Sheree Fitch, Lesley Livingston, and Deborah Ellis.

Full details of the festival can be found here.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Surrealism in Canada


Very happy to have my long essay, "Andre Breton in Canada," included in the current issue of Open Letter, guest-edited by Greg Betts and Beatriz Hausner.

It was a fun essay to write, and I spent a good part of last summer reading through Breton's biographies and other critical material to make what I think were some undiscovered observations. The paper also includes a number of great photos of the Gaspe area and Breton's excursions there, as well as a discussion of Tarot cards and Matta's art.

It's quite an exciting issue and has great contributions by: Ray Ellenwood on Mimi Parent, Jean Benoit, and Claude Gauvreau; Steve Venright on the Recordists; Karl Jirgens on Surrealist performance; Kevin Killian on Peter Dube; and new creative work by Ludwig Zeller, Lillian Necakov, Susana Wald, and others.

Open Letter homepage is here; and rob mclennan's commentary on the issue here.


Monday, July 08, 2013

Canadians in New American Writing

Very pleased to have four poems included in the current issue of New American Writing in a special section entitled "Ten Canadian Poets." The four pieces are from Etc Phrases, part of my long ekphrasic translation of bpNichol's "Allegories". And I'm happy to be in such great company--the Canadian poets include Andy Weaver, Nicole Markotic, Rob Budde, Margaret Christakos, Jon Paul Fiorentino and more. Thanks to rob mclennan for putting the section together, as well as to the editors of the journal, Paul Hoover and Maxine Chernoff. Some of rob's thoughts on compiling the section can be found here.