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Poetry Canadian

Some Lines of Poetry

From the Notebooks of bpNichol

edited by Derek Beaulieu & Gregory Betts

by (author) bp Nichol

Publisher
Coach House Books
Initial publish date
Sep 2024
Category
Canadian, Literary, Limericks & Verse
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781552454909
    Publish Date
    Sep 2024
    List Price
    $24.95

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Description

For bpNichol’s 80th birthday, a selection of 80 pieces from his 1980s notebooks, an astounding trove of never-before-seen work.

One of Canada’s most beloved poets, bpNichol (1944–1988), left a huge legacy of poetry, prose, scripts, comics, and playful interrogation of language after his untimely passing in 1988. In celebration of what would have been Nichol’s eightieth birthday, Some Lines of Poetry gathers excerpts from Nichol’s journals across the 1980s to give a unique perspective on craft, process, and a writer’s life. Featuring works in progress, insight into Nichol’s thinking, previously unpublished prose and lyric, visual, and sound poems, Some Lines of Poetry documents Nichol’s “apprenticeship to language” and his playful daily exploration of the limits of writing.

Lovingly edited by noted poet-scholars Derek Beaulieu and Gregory Betts, who provide an afterword contextualizing Nichol’s practice, Some Lines of Poetry is a map of hidden corners, a guidebook to poetic play, and a tribute to Nichol’s ongoing influence.

"No other writer of our time and place was so diverse, attempted so much, and never lost sight of his intent." – Michael Ondaatje

 

About the authors

derek beaulieu is the author of five books of poetry, three volumes of conceptual fiction, and over 150 chapbooks. His critical edition (co-edited with Gregory Betts) of bill bissett’s RUSH: what fuckan theory will be published in 2012. beaulieu teaches at the University of Calgary, the Alberta College of Art, and Mount Royal University.

Lori Emerson is an assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She writes about and teaches electronic literature (especially digital poetry), experimental American and Canadian poetry, the history of computing, and media theory. She is co-editor, with Darren Wershler, of The Alphabet Game: a bpNichol Reader (2007).

John Riddell is the author of Criss-Cross (Coach House, 1977) and numerous other volumes of visual poetry and prose. An early editor of grOnk, Ganglia, and Phenomenon Press, his work has been included in magazines like Kontakte, Descant, and Ganglia from the 1960s to the present.

Derek Beaulieu's profile page

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

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.

bp Nichol's profile page

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