For bpNichol, who called himself a “writer who writes about the act of writing,” criticism was not only a means to address his own poetics and the textual practices of his generation; it was just as essential to his imagination as were his poems themselves.
Finally, after years of readers struggling to find or access many of Nichol’s innovative critical writings, this much needed and anticipated volume makes it possible to follow Nichol through his thirty-year-long thoughtful engagement with the process of creation. With essays, reviews, talks on poetics, letters, notes, photographs, and excerpts from interviews, editor Roy Miki has put together a provocative record of bpNichol’s always explorative approaches to the material conditions of textual production.
Representing a substantial collection of Nichol’s critical writing from the mid-1960s up to the year of his death in 1988, Meanwhile: The Critical Writings of bpNichol puts him, rightfully, on the vanguard of Canadian literature and critical theory. This collection is essential to our sense of Nichol not only as a writer, but also as a person of exemplary generosity, imagination, and intellectual range.
bpNichol was one of Canada’s most challenging and innovative poets. His writing spans a remarkable range?from concise allegories on a single letter, on through to sound poetry, fiction, theoretical investigations and culminating in his nine-volume poem The Martyrology. Meanwhile: The Critical Writings of bpNichol (2001), bpNichol Comics (2001), Rational Geomancy (1992) and Selected Writing: As Elected (1980) are also available from Talonbooks.
?Almost 15 years after his untimely death, Nichol is being recognized as a major Canadian literary figure.?
? National Post