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.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Dog Reviews 2

... but it won the Governor General's Award for 1944!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Graphic Grey Borders

I'm looking forward to seeing the wonderful Sharon Harris at this month's Grey Borders event on Friday, March 22nd in St. Catharines.

She's been working on new visual pieces to display as part of a slide show for that evening and they're awesome.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

It's Zoom

My new chapbook from above/ground.

I've called it a reverse-homophonic translation of classic sound poems, but I'm thinking it's something else. Moving from what Steve McCaffery would call the proto-semantic to English verse, it might better be termed homo-morphemic translation, or para-semantic translation. Suggestions welcome...

Ordering info here.