over on twitter, ROB HAYLER (@radiomidwich) is seeking sound responses to one of my poems … you may wish to contribute …


2018 was an incredible year:

It was a thrill to teach as a sessional instructor at the Alberta College of Art + Design (my students there recognized me with 2 teaching awards), Mount Royal University and Wordsworth Summer Camp. That said … In October I stepped away from sessional teaching to take up the position as Director, Literary Arts at Banff Centre — an amazing position. I’m thrilled to be part of the amazing team at Banff Centre and to be of service to artists and writers locally, nationally and internationally.

The culmination of several years’ work, I edited bpNichol’s Nights on Prose Mountain (Toronto: Coach House Books). Nights on Prose Mountain gathers all of bpNichol’s published fiction. While Nichol’s poetry is widely studied, researched and taught, his novels have remained out of print. From the Governor General’s Award-winning “The True Eventual Story of Billy the Kid” through more obscure treasures like Extreme Positions, and including Still, For Jesus Lunatick, and Andy, Nights on Prose Mountain traces Nichol’s life in fiction.

Achill Island, Ireland’s redfoxpress published my latest volume of visual poems, Counter/Weight. Counter/Weight explores the crumbling edifice of letters through aging letraset-based visual poems and the crumbs of punctuation.

Leeds-Beckett University’s Alan Dunn and I released (drowned out by traffic noise): a, A Novel, a CD of ten audio responses to my a, A novel by international sound artists (MP3 here).

This year I have been lucky to have conducted readings and talks at University of North Carolina-Wilmington, University of Calgary, University of Ottawa, Leeds Beckett University, Trinity College – Cambridge and at public events in Banff, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Wilmington. Thank you so much to all of the organizers, hosts, colleagues, friends and audiences with whom I’ve shared these experiences.

I’ve been lucky to have work published in European Review of Poetry, Books and Culture; Alberta College of Art and Design Faculty Association Newsletter; NoD; ToCall; X-peri; Schreibheft and unarmed. I also contributed to 6 different anthologies. My work was featured as the front-cover artwork on Gerald Brun’s Interruptions: The fragmentary aesthetic in Modern Literature (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press) and Max Elibacher’s cassette electronic tape music. I provided the liner notes of Sam Andreyev’s incredible CD Music with no Edges (Austria: Kairos Music).

6 different small press editions of my work were published in 2018: Black Square #1 (Calgary: The Blasted Tree), L’echec de Perec (London: Ma Bibliotheque), Fragmentum (Burlington: Simulacrum), fine and coarse aggregate (California: poems-for-all), Tattered Sails (ottawa: above/ground) and isostatisk landhöjning (Malmö, Sweden: Timglaset). My kursiv #1-7 was published as part of Container‘s 2018 Look Book series. Full size render – a collaboration with Billy Mavreas – was published by Montreal’s Monastiraki; Reply – a collaboration with Petra Schulze-Wollgast – was privately published by Rostock’s Schulze-Wollgast. I continue to place free PDFs of my work online. My artistic work was included in gallery exhibitions in Germany, Halifax, Toronto and Edmonton.

Through No press I published 42 different editions of poetry and prose from international, national and local emerging and established writers. Each edition was meant to help spread the word of risk-taking international writing. Thank you for trusting me with your work.

For my entire tenure as Calgary’s Poet Laureate (2014-2016) I worked with Calgary Arts Development and with representatives from the City of Calgary to create an initiative through which we would name streets and alleys after prominent deceased Calgarian writers. Finally, after years of effort, one single name was accepted by The City of Calgary and Nellie McClung Avenue was unveiled.

None of this would have been possible without my incredible partner, Kristen, and my amazing daughter Maddie. My parents and in-laws have also been a steady voice of support and love; thank you.

In so many ways i only excel because of the strength and support of my community of friends and colleagues especially Greg Betts, Christian Bok, Kit Dobson, Kyle Flemmer, Kenneth Goldsmith, Helen Hajnoczky, Sina Queyras, Jordan Scott and so many others. Thank you.

And thank you to my students and colleagues who always encourage me to listen, to share, to push my practice and my pedagogy. You rock.

Once 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 2018, seriously:

Archer, Sacha. TSK oomph. (Inspiritus)

Bernstein, Charles. Near Miss. (University of Chicago Press)

Brand, Dionne. The Blue Clerk. (Penguin)

Carpenter, J.R. An Ocean of Static. (Penned in the Margins)

Dermisache, Mirtha. Selected Writings. (Ugly Duckling Presse / Siglio)

Dickinson, Adam. Anatomic. (Coach House Books)

Fitterman, Robert. This Window makes me Feel. (Ugly Duckling Presse)

Hussain, Nasser. SKY WRI TEI NGS (Coach House Books)

Mallarme, Stephane. The Book. (Exact Change)

Mathews, Harry. The Solitary Twin. (New Directions)

Montfort, Nick. The Truelist (Counterpath)

Rice, Waubgeshig. Moon of the Crested Snow. (ECW)

Schmaltz. Eric. Surfaces(Invisible)

Zelazo, Suzanne. Lances All Alike. (Coach House Books)

As Calgary’s Poet Laureate (2014-2016) one of my projects was initiating a plan whereby the city would name alleys and streets after deceased Calgarian authors — a means of remembering how writers have helped us understand who we were, who we are, and who we can become.

It was my plan to have this be an ongoing program honouring authors through-out Calgary’s history. While the program was not meant to be, one name was supported by City Hall: Nellie McClung.

Calgary is a city populated with award-winning novelists and poets with international reputations. Writing from Calgary has changed the face of Canadian literature. The citizens of Calgary tend to be unaware of our rich literary past — of the writers who have walked our pathways and lived in our neighbourhoods. With their passing, they fall out of our collective imaginations and back on to our shelves. Their books become silent footnotes to the communities that they helped build, reflect, document and enrich. A city’s literature makes tangible our citizens’ thoughts and concerns, our triumphs and our shame, our small personal reflections and our larger civic discourses. I learn of Calgary and its growth through its literature, through its authors and poets.

McClung is renowned for being a member of the CBC’s first Board of Governors, a delegate to the League of Nations, a renowned public lecturer, women’s rights advocate and a member of the “Famous Five” as advocate for women’s suffrage in the 1928–29 “Persons Case.” McClung’s legacy is not without controversy, as she was also a supporter of Eugenics and forced sterilization. McClung’s legacy is a complicated one, just as any city’s history is fraught with tragedy. As McClung once said, “Why are pencils equipped with erasers if not to correct mistakes?”

In addition to McClung’s well-known efforts – and mixed political legacy – as a social activist, suffragette and politician, she was also on the 1st Board of Governors for the CBC. McClung moved to Calgary in 1923; her home on 15th Avenue SW is a National Historic site (and the current home of the Columbian Consulate) and was recently re-created at Heritage Park.

She is also the little-remembered author of best-selling volumes of fiction and non-fiction that reflected life in Canada’s prairies and the small communities from which so many of our citizens were raised. Her editions included 9 volumes of fiction (Sowing Seeds in Danny (1908); The Second Chance (1910); The Black Creek Stopping House: And Other Stories (1912); Purple Springs. (1922); When Christmas Crossed ‘The Peace’ (1923); Painted Fires (1925, 2014); All We Like Sheep (1926); Be Good to Yourself: A Book of Short Stories (1930) and Flowers for the Living (1931)) and 8 volumes of non-fiction (In Times Like These (1915); The Next of Kin (1917); Three Times and Out: A Canadian Boy’s Experience in Germany (1918); Clearing in the West: My Own Story (1935); Leaves from Lantern Lane (1936); Before They Call … (1937); More Leaves from Lantern Lane (1937); The Stream Runs Fast (1945)). In many ways McClung’s publishing of national best-sellers gave her the social profile to run for public office. McClung died in 1951 in Victoria, B.C.

Nellie McClung Avenue is the only street in Calgary named after an author.

(photo by Shaun Hunter)

mcclung ave


NEW from Ma Bibliotheque! L’Echec de Perec by Derek Beaulieu. (28 pages. Edition of 50, signed & numbered, £5.00)
L’Echec de Perec offers a playful visual translation of Georges Perec’s Alphabets (1976), transforming each oulipian poem into a glyph which resembles chessboards and crossword puzzles. Perec’s compositional structure becomes the framework for a new way of writing, treating language as brickwork.

Order your copy of Sam Andreyev’s new CD Music with no Edges … (I wrote the accompanying essay to this fabulous recording)

Media Release
For immediate release

Calgary’s former Poet Laureate Derek Beaulieu named Director of Literary Arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

BANFF, AB, October 9 – Derek Beaulieu, an award winning professor at the Alberta College of Art and Design and Mount Royal University, has been appointed the next Director of Literary Arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Beaulieu will take up his post on October 15, 2018 and is thrilled to be taking on this important role. Born in Montréal, Beaulieu moved to Calgary as a young boy and has built his career here.

“I grew up in Alberta, and have worked with the artistic and literary community here and across the country for decades. I believe that Banff Centre is unique in Canada as a place where writers come to explore their craft and be mentored by some of the most illustrious figures in literary arts. I am thrilled to get this opportunity to add to the rich legacy of literary arts at Banff Centre,” said Beaulieu.

As Calgary’s former Poet Laureate (2014–16), Beaulieu enjoyed being a cultural ambassador for the literary and visual arts, something he will continue while at Banff Centre. An award winning instructor, Beaulieu has taught creative writing and contemporary literature. A prolific author, editor, and visual artist, his work has also been exhibited internationally in over 20 solo and group exhibitions.

“We are so pleased Derek is joining our team at Banff Centre. It’s exciting to have an author and artist from Alberta to lead Literary Arts. We know Derek will succeed magnificently in this new role,” said Janice Price, President and CEO of Banff Centre.

“Derek impressed us all with his passion, ideas, and commitment to the regional, national, and international literary world. Derek is widely celebrated for his lifetime achievements, his depth of experience as an educator, and as a published writer. He is also a builder of community and an advocate for the role art can play in shaping our understanding of who we are that made him a perfect fit,” said Howard Jang, Vice President of Arts and Leadership of Banff Centre.

Derek Beaulieu is the author and editor of 20 collections of poetry, prose, and criticism including two volumes of his selected work Please No More Poetry: the poetry of derek beaulieu (2013) and Konzeptuelle Arbeiten (2017). His most recent volume of fiction, a, A Novel was published by Paris’s Jean Boîte Editions.

Beaulieu lives in Calgary with his wife and daughter and will be relocating to Banff this fall.


For more information, please contact:

Jenny Spurr
Manager, Communications
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
107 Tunnel Mountain Drive
Banff, Alberta
T1L 1H5
tel: 403.431.0261

About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity: Founded in 1933, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is a learning organization built upon an extraordinary legacy of excellence in artistic and creative development. What started as a single course in drama has grown to become the global organization leading in arts, culture, and creativity across dozens of disciplines. From our home on Treaty 7 territory in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus -“ artists, leaders, and thinkers – to unleash their creative potential and realize their unique contribution to society through cross-disciplinary learning opportunities, world-class performances, and public outreach. In 2018, Banff Centre celebrates 85 years of creative practice.

Arn McBay animates the 1st 150 pages of my a, A Novel bringing out the noise and fray of the New York streets …


Derek Beaulieu’s a, A Novel erases all the text in Andy Warhol’s 1968 novel, leaving only the punctuation marks, typists’ insertions and onomatopoeic words.

(drowned out by traffic noise): a, A Novel, created in collaboration with Alan Dunn, composes ten audio responses to the book into this single 60-minute soundtrack (MP3 here):

Pascalle Burton – After the After Party, 1979 radio
Cecilie Bjørgås Jordheim and Stine Janvin Joh – p343 for Theodor W. Adorno
Peter Jaeger – a A Novel p85
Karri Kokko – Haukotus (Yawn) A
Sylvain Chauveau – a, page 113
Cecilie Bjørgås Jordheim – p343 dick isn’t that big (16mm soundtrack)
Gary Barwin – Typing Warhol Page 1
Prof. Oddfellow – Clockwork Punctuation
Gary Barwin & Arnold McBay – texture: code: sound
Alan Dunn & collaborators – p100/101 featuring Molly Wookey, an elderly lady on whom Dr. Arthur Spencer at Powick Psychiatric Hospital trialed heavy doses of LSD + Weirdomusic Drip, Drip, Drip + The Ramonas Let’s Dance + WOMPS recording with Steve Albini in Chicago, captured by Katie Strang + AD&THEFILMTAXI X + Jean-Philippe Renoult Nosey Noises, a medley of George Clinton’s nostril noise and breathing + Jeff Young Chapter III (ocean) and Chapter IV (ritual) + Noisesurfer Silence and Water.

Artwork by Arnold McBay, design by 67projects, Peter Jaeger track mastered by Ken Brake at Regal Lane Studio, London. This is cantaudio047, 2018.

Edition of 250, 60-minute audio track on CD in 215gsm card wallet finished with Gloss Machine finish, plus 1″ button badge. Available for £10 including p&p by PayPal