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Literary Criticism Poetry

Avant Canada

Poets, Prophets, Revolutionaries

edited by Gregory Betts & Christian Bök

Publisher
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Initial publish date
Jan 2019
Category
Poetry, Canadian, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781771123525
    Publish Date
    Jan 2019
    List Price
    $39.99
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781771123549
    Publish Date
    Jan 2019
    List Price
    $27.99

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Description

Avant Canada presents a rich collection of original essays and creative works on a representative array of avant-garde literary movements in Canada from the past fifty years. From the work of Leonard Cohen and bpNichol to that of Jordan Abel and Liz Howard, Avant Canada features twenty-eight of the best writers and critics in the field.

The book proposes four dominant modes of avant-garde production: “Concrete Poetics,” which accentuates the visual and material aspects of language; “Language Writing,” which challenges the interconnection between words and things; “Identity Writing,” which interrogates the self and its sociopolitical position; and “Copyleft Poetics,” which undermines our habitual assumptions about the ownership of expression. A fifth section commemorates the importance of the Centennial in the 1960s at a time when avant-garde cultures in Canada began to emerge.

Readers of this book will become familiar with some of the most challenging works of literature—and their creators—that this country has ever produced. From Concrete Poetry in the 1960s through to Indigenous Literature in the 2010s, Avant Canada offers the most sweeping study of the literary avant-garde in Canada to date.

About the authors

GREGORY BETTS is a poet, editor, essayist and teacher, originally from Vancouver and Toronto. Since his first published poem, an anagrammatical translation of a short poem by bpNichol, Betts's work has consistently troubled individual authorship through such mechanisms as anagrams, collaboration, found-texts and response-text writing. If Language presents paragraph-length anagrams that explore the formation of meaning within a recombinant linguistic system. Haikube was part of a collaborative art project with sculptors Matt Donovan and Hallie Siegel in which six of Betts's poems were carved into an ebony movable (a la Rubiks) cube. The text was carved in negative relief, which allowed the cube to function as a press block to print new poems as they were 'discovered' by moving the sides of the cube. Betts currently lives in St. Catharines, where he edits PRECIPICe magazine, curates the Grey Borders Reading Series and teaches Avant-Garde and Canadian Literature at Brock University.

Gregory Betts' profile page

Christian Bök is the author of Crystallography (Coach House Press, 1994), a ’pataphysical encyclopedia nominated for the Gerald Lampert Award for Best Poetic Debut, and ’Pataphysics: The Poetics of an Imaginary Science (Northwestern University Press, 2001). His book Eunoia won the 2002 Griffin Poetry Prize and is the best-selling Canadian poetry book of all time. Bök has created artificial languages for Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict and Peter Benchley’s Amazon. His conceptual artwork has appeared at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York City as part of the exhibit Poetry Plastique. He currently teaches at the University of Calgary.

Christian Bök's profile page

Editorial Reviews

This collection of academic essays and creative pieces takes an enthusiastic, engaged attitude to the unrolling of Canadian literature, starting with an intelligent introduction by editors Gregory Betts and Christian Bök [...]

Canadian Notes and Queries, 2018

Other titles by Gregory Betts

Other titles by Christian Bök