Archives for category: best of

massacre-streetOnce again, December brings an opportunity to reflect upon the year’s books. Like previous years, this “most engaging books” list is idiosyncratic and by no means reflects “the best”, only what i found most engaging and most rewarding … this is a  selection of what i considered the most fascinating / useful / generative books of the year. Seek out these volumes, every one will reward the search (and your local, independent, bookstore can help…). This is the cream of the crop for 2013:

Heimrad Bäcker. Seascape. Patrick Greaney, trans. (Brooklyn: Ugly Duckling Presse)

Jen Bervin and Marta Werner. The Gorgeous Nothings. (New York: New Directions).

Jaap Blonk klinkt. (Gent: het balanseer).

Craig Dworkin. No Medium. (Cambridge: MIT Press).

Kenneth Goldsmith. Seven American Deaths and Disasters. (Brooklyn: Powerhouse)

Jeet Heer. In Love with Art: Françoise Mouly’s Adventures in Comics with Art Spiegelman. (Toronto: Coach House).

bpNichol. A book of variations: love-zygal-art facts. Stephen Voyce, ed. (Toronto: Coach House).

Yoko Ono. Acorn. (New York: OR)

Rachel Simkover, ed. An Anthology of Concrete Poetry. (Berlin: Motto).

Nick Thurston. Of the Subcontract (York, UK / Toronto: information as material / Coach House)

Emmett Williams. Anthology of Concrete Poetry (New York: Primary Information)

Andrew Zawacki. Video Tape. (Denver: Counterpath)

Paul Zits. Massacre Street (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press)

db_textportraitCalgary’s FFWD magazine has interviewed me about Please, No More Poetry and the changing face of poetics

dobson-beaulieuPlease, No More Poetry is a crucial collection that not only looks back on a brilliant career, but looks toward the future of the medium itself…”:

Eric Schmaltz has reviewed Please, No More Poetry at Lemonhound.

dobson-beaulieu beaulieu-emersonOn Friday April 12, 2013 at 7:00pm at Calgary’s Pages Books (1135 Kensington Rd NW) we will be celebrating the launch of Please, No more poetry: the poetry of derek beaulieu and Writing Surafces: selected fiction of john riddell (both from Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2013). Local writers Christian Bök, Richard Harrison, Natalie Simpson, Kathleen Brown, Karis Shearer and others will read /respond to / perform beaulieu’s works and good times will be had. Hosted by Kit Dobson, the editor of Please, No More Poetry.

More about Please, No more poetry: the poetry of derek beaulieu:

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.

More about Writing Surfaces: Selected Fiction of John Riddell:

John Riddell is best known for “H” and “Pope Leo, El ELoPE,” a pair of graphic fictions written in collaboration with, or dedicated to, bpNichol, but his work moves well beyond comic strips into a series of radical fictions. In Writing Surfaces, derek beaulieu and Lori Emerson present “Pope Leo, El ELoPE” and many other works in a collection that showcases Riddell’s remarkable mix of largely typewriter-based concrete poetry mixed with fiction and drawings.

Riddell’s work embraces game play, unreadability and illegibility, procedural work, non-representational narrative, photocopy degeneration, collage, handwritten texts, and gestural work. His self-aware and meta-textual short fiction challenges the limits of machine-based composition and his reception as a media-based poet.

Riddell’s oeuvre fell out of popular attention, but it has recently garnered interest among poets and critics engaged in media studies (especially studies of the typewriter) and experimental writing. As media studies increasingly turns to “media archaeology” and the reading and study of antiquated, analogue-based modes of composition (typified by the photocopier and the fax machine as well as the typewriter), Riddell is a perfect candidate for renewed appreciation and study by new generations of readers, authors, and scholars.

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

Edited by Kit Dobson.

Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2013.

available for order here or from your local independent bookstore.

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.

borsukFor the last two years I have posted my “most engaging books” list (2011′s list, 2010′s list) with a selection of what i considered the most fascinating / useful / generative books of the year. Seek out these volumes, every one will reward the search (and your local, independent, bookstore can help…). This is the cream of the crop for 2012:

Jaap Blonk Traces of Speech / Sprachspuren. (Berlin: Hybriden-Verlag.)

Amaranth Borsuk. Handiwork. (New York: Slope.)

Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse. Between Page and Screen. (Los Angeles: Siglio.)

Sophie Calle. The Address Book. (Los Angeles: Siglio.)

Natalie Czech. I have nothing to say. Only to show.(Leipzig: Spector Books)

Johanna Drucker. Druckworks: 40 years of Books and Projects. (Chicago: Columbia College)

Craig Dworkin, Simon Morris and Nick Thurston. Do or DIY. (York: information as material.)

Emma Healey. Begin with the End in Mind. (Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring.)

Dennis Lee. testament. (Toronto: House of Anansi.)

Edouard Leve. Autoportrait. trans. Lorin Stein (London: Dalkey Archive Press.)

Silvio Lorusso and Sebastian Schmieg. 56 Broken Kindle Screens. (print on demand.)

Jena Osman. Public Figures. (Middletown: Wesleyan UP)

Tom Phillips. A Humument. 5th edition (London: Thames and Hudson.)

Nicola Simpson, ed. Notes from the Cosmic Typewriter: The Life and Work of Dom Sylvester Houédard. (London: Occasional Papers)

Barrie Tullett. A Poem to Phillip Glass. 2nd edition. (York: The Caseroom Press.)

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