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Fiction Literary

hungree throat

a novel in meditaysyun

by (author) bill bissett

Initial publish date
Apr 2012
Literary, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2012
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Written in his unique phonetic language, bill bissett’s second novel-poem, hungree throat, recounts the relationship of two men – one bold and unafraid, the other burdened by terrible memories and unable to trust. We witness ten years of a shared life marked by hunger “4 breething   being   singing   eeting   digesting speeking   saying   food   kissing   watr   love.”

About the author

bill bissett
originalee from lunaria ovr 300 yeers ago in lunarian time
sent by shuttul thru halifax nova scotia originalee wantid 2
b dansr n figur skatr became a poet n paintr in my longings
after 12 operaysyuns reelee preventid me from following th
inishul direksyuns
?bill bissett
bill bissett garnered international attention in the 1960s as a pre-eminent figure of the counterculture movement in Canada and the United Kingdom. In 1964, he founded blewointment press, which published the works of bpNichol and Steve McCaffery, among others.
bissett’s charged readings, which never fail to amaze his audiences, incorporate sound poetry, chanting and singing, the verve of which is only matched by his prolific writing career?more than seventy books of bissett’s poetry have been published.
A pioneer of sound, visual and performance poetry?eschewing the artificial hierarchies of meaning and the privileging of things (?proper” nouns) over actions imposed on language by capital letters; the metric limitations imposed on the possibilities of expression by punctuation; and the illusion of formal transparency imposed on the written word by standard (rather than phonetic) spelling?bissett composes his poems as scripts for pure performance and has consistently worked to extend the boundaries of language and visual image, honing a synthesis of the two in the medium of concrete poetry.
Whether paying tribute to his hometown lunaria or exercising his native tongue dissent, bissett continues to dance upon upon the cutting edge of poetics and performance works.
bill bissett was recently a featured poet on the Heart of a Poet series, produced in conjunction with Bravo! TV.
Among bissett’s many awards are The George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award (2007); BC Book Prizes Dorothy Livesay Prize (2003) peter among th towring boxes / text bites; BC Book Prizes Dorothy Livesay Prize (1993) inkorrect thots.

bill bissett's profile page

Excerpt: hungree throat: a novel in meditaysyun (by (author) bill bissett)

life is strange


challenging  fr sure  oftn sew full uv pain  n oftn as
well   filld with beautiful moments  pleysyurs  that
transform us 2 nu undrstandings  n we can go 4 an
othr round  get anothr kik at th can  get our second
wind  n sumthings cum up in th nu mist fog morning
is it us  walking 2ward ourselvs  dropping in  saying
hello in th midst uv our sleep routeen  howard was
wundring abt all ths  dew we split from our bodee
selvs  as in astral travl  part uv us goez out 4 a whil
out uv erths lattitude evn  n th othr part stays at
home minding th store   ar we oftn diskonnekting
with ourselvs  have sum adventurs whil th othr
parts ar growing  dewing things  lerning nu skills
cumming back 2 us ovr th hill horizon sew happee
2 b cumming home agen  2 th familyar


brian was musing on all thees apertures n storeez
approaches 2 th strangeness uv being whil he was
working at th galleree wher he did filing phoning
hanging  selling   n talking with evreewun who wud
cum in  if they wer wanting 2 talk  a gud day was
xcellent peopul n xcellent conversaysyuns  leeding
sub textualee 2 a possibul sale  that wud get referrd
2  that wud give hope  or an xcellent n reel sale  that
wud afford reel hope n part uv th maintanens  sum
dayze it was difikult 2 conjure up all that  othr dayze
it was fine  latelee no sales  no hints  no jestyurs

Editorial Reviews

“an oddity even by bissett standards, not because of its content but because it purports to be a narrative … Loosely speaking, it’s the tale of two new lovers, ‘howard n brian,’ and the setting is domestic, but even so their encounters, dialogues, and interior monologues shine with the golden light of bissett’s illumination. Which, by the way, is capable of transforming even the most banal thought into poetry.”
– Georgia Straight

“…plays with connections and tensions between images and language by weaving together drawings, visual poems, lyric poems, and prose while telling the story of the relationship between two gay men through several stages of their lives. In classic bissett style, the short sections are written in phonetic rather than grammatical English and often integrate discussions between the characters on meditation, metaphysics, and the challenge of overcoming fears, traumas, and disappointments. The spiritual, Zen-like focus of the book adds to the salience of the psychedelic images and weaves them into the narrative. … noteworthy, especially for bissett’s mesmerizing images and their interactions with the language surrounding them … an interesting and intriguing reading/viewing of the struggles of coming to terms with, and visualizing, a tumultuous world and ‘how we feel abt unsirtintee.’”
Canadian Literature

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