dobson-beaulieuPlease, no more poetry: the poetry of derek beaulieu

Edited by Kit Dobson.

Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2013.

available for order here.

Since the beginning of his poetic career in the 1990s, derek beaulieu has created works that have challenged readers to understand in new ways the possibilities of poetry. With nine books currently to his credit, and many works appearing in chapbooks, broadsides, and magazines, beaulieu continues to push experimental poetry, both in Canada and internationally, in new directions. Please, No More Poetry is the first selected works of derek beaulieu.

As the publisher of first housepress and, more recently, No Press, beaulieu has continually highlighted the possibilities for experimental work in a variety of writing communities. His own work can be classified as visual poetry, as concrete poetry, as conceptual work, and beyond. His work is not to be read in any traditional sense, as it challenges the very idea of reading; rather, it may be understood as a practice that forces readers to reconsider what they think they know. As beaulieu continues to push himself in new directions, readers will appreciate the work that he has created to date, much of which has become unavailable in Canada.

With an introduction by Kit Dobson and an interview with derek beaulieu by Lori Emerson as an afterword, Please, No More Poetry offers readers an opportunity to gain access to a complex experimental poetic practice through thirty-five selected representative works.

*****

xerolage_52_front_coverKern

West Lima: Xexoxial, 2013.

available for order here.

A limited edition overview of beaulieu’s visual poetry, each piece a fragile arrangement of type on vacation.

*****

LCLocal Colour: Ghosts, Variations

Malmo, Sweden: PS Malmo / In Edit Mode Press, 2012.

Available for order here.

Local Colour; ghosts, variations takes as its point of departure, Paul Auster’s novella Ghosts, and, in particular, Derek Beaulieu’s reworking of Auster’s text, Local Colour, in which the entirety of Auster’s text has been removed, leaving only the chromatic words spread across the otherwise blank pages as coloured rectangles. Local Colour; Ghosts, variations picks up on the way in which Beaulieu’s piece seems to split Auster’s narrative text open by rendering it purely graphical, freeing it up, by the same gesture, to an excess and a bifurcation of meaning. Seeking to extend and amplify this ambition, the collection invites other writers, poets, musicians, and artists to implement procedures and process that allow them to do Beaulieu what Beaulieu did to Auster; that is, to split his colour rectangles open and see can be done with what is revealed. Contributors include Derek Beaulieu, Steve Giasson, Cia Rinne, Peder Alexis Olsson, Jörgen Gassilewski, Craig Dworkin, Elisabeth Tonnard, Martin Glaz Serup, Eric Zboya, Ola Ståhl, Pär Thörn, Carl Lindh, Cecilie Bjørgås Jordheim, Ola Lindefelt, Andreas Kurtsson, Helen White, Gary Barwin, Magda Tyzlik-Carver and Andy Prior.

*****

Seen of the Crime

Montreal: Snare, 2011.

Out of Print.

In a series of statements, essays, missives, and informal discussions, seen of the crime surveys the radical edges of Canadian and international poetry; the conceptual and the concrete, the political and the playful. With seen of the crime, derek beaulieu explores the flourishing and frustrating alternatives: poetry without subjectivity, without narrative, without words, and even without letters.

‘Finally, a book about poetry that is actually about poetry. derek beaulieu is quickly proving himself an essential companion to the contemporary.’
~ Sina Queyras

  • Helen Hajnoczky’s review of seen of the crime
  • rob mclennan’s review of seen of the crime
  • Jeroen Nieuwland’s review of seen of the crime
  • Craig Dworkin’s review of seen of the crime (Third Factory / notes to poetry)
  • Jonathan Ball’s review of seen of the crime (Winnipeg Free Press)
  • Seen of the Crime available as a downloadable PDF (UBUWeb)

*****

201114_L-91x300Prose of the Trans-Canada

Toronto: bookthug, 2011.

available for order here.

In 1913 Blaise Cendrars created his monumental Prose of the Trans-Siberian, a milestone in the history of artists books and visual poetry. When the intended edition of 150 copies was laid end-to-end they measured the same length as the height of the symbol of Parisian Modernity, the Eiffel Tower.

derek beaulieu’s prodigious Prose of the Trans-Canada responds to Cendrars’ legacy in a 16″ x 52″ visual poem. When all 150 copies of this limited edition are placed end-to-end, the resultant length is the same as the symbol of Calgarian Modernity, the Calgary Tower.

A towering moment in beaulieu’s on-going exploration of letraset as a medium for concrete poetry, Prose of the Trans-Canada, issued as Moments Cafe No. 8, is published in a strictly limited edition of 150 copies.

  • Gary Barwin discusses Prose of the Trans-Canada at Jacket2

*****

How to Write

Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2010.

available for order here.

How to Write is a perverse Coles Notes: a paradigm of prosody where writing as sampling, borrowing, cutting-and-pasting and mash-up meets literature. This collection of conceptual short fiction takes inspiration from Lautréamont’s decree that “plagiarism is necessary. It is implied in the idea of progress. It clasps the author’s sentence tight, uses his expressions, eliminates a false idea, replaces it with the right idea.”

*****

Silence

Achill Isalnd, Ireland: red fox press, 2010.

available for order here.

Silence is one of a collection of small hand made artists’ books dedicated to experimental, concrete and visual poetry, or any work combining text and visual arts in the spirit of dada or fluxus.

*****

Local Colour

Helsinki, Finland: ntamo, 2008.

Out of print.

Local Colour is a page–by–page interpretation of Paul Auster’s 72–page novella Ghosts. With Local Colour, beaulieu has removed the entirety of Auster’s text, leaving only chromatic words—proper nouns or not—spread across the page as dollops of paint on a palette. What remains is the written equivalent of ambient music—words which are meant to be seen but not read. The colours, through repetition, build a suspense and crescendo which is loosened from traditional narrative into a more pointillist construction.

*****

chains

Kingston, PA: paper kite press, 2008.

Out of Print.

With chains, derek beaulieu once again turns his attention to how “language regards itself, stalks itself, begins, slowly, to eat itself” (Canadian Literature) in a series of graceful abstractions made entirely from antiquated dry-transfer lettering. In chains, letters gather in elegant arrangements, architectural constructions and sinews of meaning.

*****

flatland: a romance of many dimensions

York, UK: information as material, 2007.

Out of print.

“As the Greenbergian modernists proclaimed the flatness of the canvas, so derek beaulieu reduces the page to a flat plane. The result is a new kind of flatness-call it non-illusionistic literature — a depthless fiction, one where image and narrative is reduced to line and shadow. In the great tradition of Picabia, beaulieu creates a perfect work of mechanical writing with one foot in the concrete poetic past and another in the flat screen future.” — Kenneth Goldsmith

*****

fractal economies

Vancouver: talonbooks, 2006.

available for order here

Represent[s] truly the best of beaulieu’s poetic practice.
Prairie Fire Review of Books

*****

frogments from the frag pool: haiku after basho
co-written with Gary Barwin

Toronto: Mercury Press, 2005.

Out of Print.

“Delightful surprises lurk within these pages as Gary Barwin and derek beaulieu examine the old pond, the frog, the splash, and the mind of Basho. From the microscopic “old pond / universes rise & fall / a single splash” to the anthropomorphic “pond holding / its breath…” to the subjective “mind ponding” to the conceptual “splash as a hole in silence” — it’s all here. This book is a grand addition to the reverberation of Basho’s splash” — Nelson Ball

*****

with wax

Toronto:  Coach House Books, 2003.

available for order here

“derek beaulieu’s with wax is language stuffed with its own stuff. History is still hot with ink and determined to track, map and print wherever it can stamp its boots. It understands its own fibres and surfaces, leaves its mark both on the page and in the grooves of its own moveable type. Watch your floors and walls, these words leak everywhere.” — Larissa Lai