Ofullsizerendernce again, December brings an opportunity to reflect upon the year’s publications. Like previous years, my “most engaging books” list reflects what i found most fascinating / useful / generative. Seek out these volumes, every one will reward the search. Your local, independent, bookstore can help…. This is the cream of the crop for 2016, seriously:






Work in Translation

I just ordered the books for my winter term ENGL1118 (creative writing – fiction) course at Mount Royal University: Herman Melville’s Bartleby, The Scrivener, Lyn Hejinian’s My LIfe, Georges Perec’s An Attempt at Exhausting a place in Paris, Jonathan Ball’s Ex Machina and Jorge Luis Borges’s Labyrinths — gonna be a great course!

Thanks to the efforts of my colleagues Kit Dobson, Michelle Bodnar, Richard Harrison, Micheline Maylor, Natalie Meisner and Beth Everest, we staged another pop-up poetry typewriter event at Mount Royal University — it was great fun to share these machines with students, create poetry on demand and have some great conversations. fullsizerender3  fullsizerender1 fullsizerender2 img_2673 img_2677  img_2679 img_2675 img_2681 img_2683 fullsizerenderfullsizerender4

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-9-26-32-am screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-9-26-56-am2 sneak previews of my resetting of Stéphane Mallarme’s “Un Coup de Des” using 3Dpoetryeditor.

Mallarme’s “Un Coup de Des” (here in English translation by Robert Bononno and Jeff Clarke from the 2015 Wave books edition) is a foundational text  for the exploration of page design, typography & type size and the tension of varied directions in reading.

Using 3Dpoetryeditor, I have tossed Mallarme’s poem in to the tempest of stormy digital waves, the lines of the poem left to eddy and crash against each other, creating a whirling tension of recombinant text.

The final moving, dynamic, evolving piece will premiere at Poetry International in Rotterdam, June 2017.

3Dpoetryeditor (3DPE) was designed by Jon Staale Ritland, Jan Baeke, Michiel Koelink and David Jonas.

Thank you Mount Royal University’s SUMMIT magazine for including me in a discussion about the state of contemporary poetry…fullsizerender

My newest chapbook Vexations 2: Xerox workstation 5755 is now out from Puddles of Sky Press; thank you Michael Casteels for publishing this small edition! (click to order a copy)


1zgzg5uz8gdxrq6r7bqvjqqMy colleague Pratim Sengupta (research chair of STEM Education at the University of Calgary’s Werklund School) has just posted the first of his “De-Coding Public: Conversations with Derek Beaulieu”, on “public”, “code”, “text” and “experience”.

After some technical challenges, Rosemary Griebel and I have re-installed one of my visual poems in the plaza next to Calgary’s Pages Books

Spray-painted in special bio-degradable ink, this stencil will only be visible when it rains (let’s hope for a rainy autumn), the rest of the time it will be unapparent underfoot. The YYC LITERARY SIDEWALKS initiative, funded and spearheaded by Rosemary Griebel at the Calgary Public Library and Shelley Youngblut at Wordfest will eventually bring 11 different stenciled literary moments to Calgary’s streets …

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vexations-2-53The second of a projected 10 volumes, VEXATIONS decomposes the score of Erik Satie’s masterpiece through repeated photocopy degeneration. Beaulieu’s VEXATIONS moves writing towards “furniture music.”

Each volume uses a different photocopier to degenerate Satie’s score – with startlingly unique results. Taken as a 10-book suite, the completed project will present 840 variations (84 variations per book over 10 books)

Purchase a copy here (limited edition of 26 copies; 176 pages $26 + shipping)

Download a free PDF here

Pour se jouer 840 fois de suite ce motif,

il sera bon de se préparer au préalable,

et dans le plus grand silence, par des immobilités sérieuses

—Erik Satie

(“In order to play the theme 840 times in succession,

it would be advisable to prepare oneself beforehand,

and in the deepest silence, by serious immobilities”)

—Erik Satie

I will be delivering the Learning Sciences Brown Bag Lecture at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary on November 4th (12:00-1:00, room EDC386 NEW ROOM). Thank you very much Pratim Sengupta, Research Chair of STEM Education for the invitation…

Reading/Writing as an Artistic Practice

Building upon his novels flatland: a romance of many dimensions (2005) and Local Colour (2008), Derek Beaulieu has completed a a novel, an erasure-based translative response to Andy Warhol’s controversial masterpiece. Warhol’s a a novel favours faithful transcription over plot, chance over predicted composition, and a consideration of a novel’s precepts over its actual content. a a novel mines writing for an inter-disciplinary musicality which reflect the urban environment, which foregrounds a complex of non-narrative sounds embedded within our conversations. Giving every page—and his entire oeuvre—online for free, Beaulieu’s translation is a playground for generative response. In this talk, Beaulieu will illustrate the work of art, and through this painting, argue how reading and writing can be (and perhaps more provocatively, should be) re-imagined as artistic practice.

Derek Beaulieu is the author of 8 collections of poetry, 4 collections of fiction and 2 collections of essays. Beaulieu co-edited bill bissett’s RUSH: what fuckan theory (with Gregory Betts), Writing Surfaces: fiction of John Riddell (with Lori Emerson) and The Calgary Renaissance (with rob mclennan). Beaulieu has received 5 teaching awards, including the Robert Kroetsch Teaching Award from the Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs (ccwwp) and was Calgary’s 2014-16 Poet Laureate. Beaulieu has exhibited his artwork across Canada, the United States and Europe. He was recently named the first recipient of the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Arts Celebrated Alumni Award in recognition of his community service, teaching and artistic practice.