The range of bpNichol's output is unparalleled, the reach of his curiosity, wit and inventiveness, immeasurable. Concrete poetry, novels, comics, sound poetry and even a television show, Fraggle Rock – it's his eclecticism and love of 'borderblur' that make bp so unique.
The perfect counterpoint to his acclaimed nine-volume long poem, The Martyrology, the three long-lost classics contained in a book of variations showcase Nichol's diverse, sprawling imagination. Placing love: a book of remembrances, zygal: a book of mysteries and translations and art facts: a book of contexts side by side, as they were meant to be, this fun and ephemeral collection may prove to be Nichol's most lasting and important contribution to poetry.
'bpNichol was, and still is, the essential poet for so many of us.'
— Michael Ondaatje
'This is bpNichol at his young, whimsical, charming, sweet, magical, formally inventive, childlike, zany, fecund, h-h-h-heavenly best. A total delight from beginning to beginning again.'
— Charles Bernstein
About the authors
Wayne Clifford came to Grand Manan, New Brunswick as a permanent resident in 2007 after thirty-five years of college teaching. A former resident of Kingston, Ontario and Halifax, Nova Scotia, he and his wife, M.J. Edwards, have built a house at Rocky Corner on the Whistle Road, where she practices as an artist, and he writes more or less full-time. Author of more than a dozen poetry books and chapbooks, Wayne is also an amateur musician, artist, and award-winning designer. He holds a BA from the University of Toronto, and an MA and MFA from the prestigious international Writers' Workshop at The University of Iowa, but appreciates that his adopted home has much to teach him.
bpNichol (Barrie Phillip Nichol) was born September 30, 1944 in Vancouver, British Columbia. His writing is, by definition, engaged with what he called "borderblur": in his lifetime he wrote (somewhere between) poetry, novels, short fiction, children's books, musical scores, comic book art, collage/assemblage, and computer texts. Nichol was also an inveterate collaborator, working with the sound poetry ensemble The Four Horsemen (whose members were Nichol, Rafael Barreto-Rivera, Paul Dutton, and Steve McCaffery); Steve McCaffery as part of the Toronto Research Group (TRG); the visual artist Barbara Caruso; and countless other writers. In the mid 1980s bpNichol became a successful writer for the children's television show Fraggle Rock, produced by Jim Henson. His early work in sound was documented in Michael Ondaatje's film Sons of Captain Poetry. A second film has been made on Nichol, bp: pushing the boundaries, directed by Brian Nash; he also appears in Ron Mann's film Poetry in Motion. bpNichol died in Toronto, Ontario on September 25, 1988.
Other titles by bp Nichol
Nights on Prose Mountain
parts of an autobiography
The Captain Poetry Poems
The Alphabet Game
A bpNichol Reader
Konfessions of an Elizabethan Fan Dancer
The Critical Writings of bpNichol
A Book of Mysteries and Translations