Sonosyntactics introduces the reader to over forty-five years of Paul Dutton’s diverse and inventive poetry, ranging from lyrics, prose poems, and visual work to performance texts and scores. Perhaps best known for his acclaimed solo sound performances and his contributions to the iconic sound poetry group The Four Horsemen, Dutton is a surprising, witty, sensitive, and innovative explorer of language and of the human. This volume gathers a representative selection of his most significant and characteristic poetry together with a generous selection of uncollected new work.
Sonosyntactics demonstrates Dutton’s willingness to (re)invent and stretch language and to listen for new possibilities while at the same time engaging with his perennial concerns—love, sex, music, time, thought, humour, the materiality of language, and poetry itself.
Gary Barwin’s introduction outlines the major subjects and techniques of Dutton’s poetry: an intricate weaving of thought and language, sound and emotion, sound and sense, and the unfolding of a text through the logic of language play such as puns, paradoxes, ambiguity, and sound relations. In an afterword by Dutton himself, the poet insightfully lays out the terms of his engagement with the materiality—both visual and aural—of language, often beyond the purely recountable, representational, or depictive.
About the authors
Paul Dutton is a poet, fictioneer, essayist, musician and former member of the Four Horsemen poetry/performance group. Born in Toronto where he continues to live, he is the author of several books including Visionary Portraits (The Mercury Press), Right Hemisphere Left Ear (Coach House Press), The Book of Numbers (Porcupine’s Quill), The Plastic Typewriter (Underwhich Editions), and Aurealities. His first novel is Several Women Dancing.
Gary Barwin is a writer, composer, and performer. He is the author of numerous books and chapbooks of poetry and fiction including the poetry collections frogments from the frag pool: haiku after basho (written with derek beaulieu) and Raising Eyebrows and Outside the Hat (Coach House Books) and the fiction collections Doctor Weep and other strange teeth, Big Red Baby (The Mercury Press), and Cruelty to Fabulous Animals (Moonstone Press). He is the author of The Mud Game, a novel written with Stuart Ross (The Mercury Press). Barwin is also the author of several books for children including Seeing Stars, a young adult novel (Stoddart Kids) nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award and the CLA YA Book of the Year, and Killer Poodle Made Me Island King (Fox Meadow), co-winner of the Muskoka Novel Marathon 2003. Barwin received a PhD in Music Composition and currently teaches music at Hillfield-Strathallan College and creative writing at McMaster University. Barwin lives in Hamilton, where he has cultivated vague but colourful illusions about his writing. Please don’t tell him.
Other titles by Paul Dutton
Other titles by Gary Barwin
The Most Charming Creatures
Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted
The Ballad of Motl the Cowboy
Laurier Poetry Pack #5
Laurier Poetry Pack #4
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
For It Is a Pleasure and a Surprise to Breathe
New and Selected Poems