Arianne Jones, me, Brad Spence and Cassandra

Arianne Jones, me, Brad Spence and Cassandra

When Brad Spence, founder of Helmets for Heroes, competed at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, he was wearing a hand painted helmet by Gillian O’Blenes-Kaufman, a young patient at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. During a hospital visit a few months prior, Brad had learned of Gillian’s incredible artistic talents and wanted to bring her on his journey to Sochi. He did so by having her design and paint his Olympic helmet.

Seeing the impact that his helmet had not only on her, but also on the entire community, Brad wanted to find a way to bring the athletic and artistic worlds together, to support and help children battling adversity cope and heal. What evolved was Helmets for Heroes, an initiative aimed at doing just this. For each project, an athlete, an artist, and a child battling adversity are connected to collaborate on a helmet design that will be worn in competition by the athlete. Art not only helps children battling adversity express themselves, it improves their mood, decreases pain levels, and assists in the healing process. After completion of the projects, the helmets are auctioned off, with proceeds being donated to the charity of the child’s choice. To date, Helmets for Heroes has facilitated five very unique projects, raising more than $15,000 for charity.

I’m proud to announce that I’m working with Arianne Jones and her teammates on the Canadian National Luge Team, alongside Cassandra (age 11) to design Arianne a helmet that she can use at the World Cup and in competition through-out 2015-2016!

Watch this space for updates and news … and support Helmets for Heroes!

Coming Soon from Manchester’s If P Then Qpage1 Press:

Listen to CJSW’s Emily Ursuliak interview me about my library



derek beaulieu

Visual Poetry | $17.00
ISBN 13: 978-1-934254-55-4
Size: 8″ x 8″
Pages: 96
Binding: Softcover, Perfect
Published: December 16, 2014

Proposed as a collection of imaginary logos for the corporate sponsors of Borges’ Library of Babel, Kern balances on a precipice between the visual and nonsensical, offering poems just out of meaning’s reach. Using dry-transfer lettering, derek beaulieu made these concrete pieces by hand, building the images gesturally in response to shapes and patterns in the letters themselves. This is poetry closer to architecture and design than confession, in which letters are released from their usual semantic duties as they slide into unexpected affinities and new patterns. Kern highlights the gaps inside what we see and what we know, filling the familiar with the singular and the just seen with the faintly remembered.

Reviews of KERN:
Canadian Literature
(review by Eric Schmaltz)

Pank Magazine (review by Klara du Plessis)

decomP Magazine (review by Spencer Dew)


Cordite Review (review by Caren Florance)

London Open Mic Poetry Night (review by Frank Davey)

Beatroute (review by Brad Simm)

Cultural Weekly (review by Mike Sonksen)

Winnipeg Free Press (review by Jonathan Ball)

Neon Tommy (review by Olivia Niland)

Kern’s Refusal: On Exchanging Visual Ramifications” (and interview with Pablo Lopez)

kern-derek-beaulieu-cover-front-featureEric Schmaltz at Canadian Literature, has reviewed KERN:
Stunning in its visuality, kern represents beaulieu’s ongoing transition from his earlier disruptive work—perhaps best represented in Fractal Economies, which challenged the logic of writing machines—toward a praxis that has become increasingly mimetic of quotidian modes of signification. Employing his characteristic and intentional misuse of dry-transfer lettering, beaulieu’s kern opens with a series of minimalist abstractions. Page by page, these texts increase in size until they become quite lavish and baroque. While beaulieu’s work has become increasingly “clean” over the years and less seemingly disruptive, the original spirit of beaulieu’s work remains: a commitment to the possibilities of linguistic expression and intervention. This new phase of work is not necessarily compliant with modes of signification in its similarities to corporate logos and advertising; rather beaulieu’s visually abstract materialism proposes modes of intervention into these conditions. beaulieu is no longer imagining ways by which we can explode the present, but rather ways to cut into it and re-imagine it.

derek beaulieu

Intrude-image-51-e1436755276492A Trip Down The Rabbit Hole

Sep 17 at 6:00 pm10:00 pm


Gather your friends for a delightful adventure through the neighborhood of Victoria Park.

Start in Central Memorial Park for an artist talk by Australian artist Amanda Parer, creator of Intrude, plus clues on where to find a hidden bunny in the ‘hood. That white rabbit might unlock some entertaining experiences for you along the way, including:

6:00 pm – Experience the Star Car, an interactive galactic vehicle
6:30 pm – Artist talk by Intrude artist, Amanda Parer
7:00 pm – Poetry by Christian Bok and Calgary 2015 Poet Laureate Derek Beaulieu
7:30 pm – Wandering wearable technology models from Make Fashion

…and, as the sun sets, the rabbits will come to life in a whole new light!

The first 12 pieces from my “Un Coup de Des” is currently on exhibit as a part of Alberta College of Art + Design’s 2015 Faculty Show at the Illingworth Kerr Gallery…

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beanNo Press is proud to announce the publication of

Have Mercy by Victoria Bean

Published in a limited edition of 50 copies (only 25 of which are available from the press), Have Mercy is a graceful single-fold poetry leaflet. Keep an eye out for your copy…

Victoria Bean is a poet and artist living in London, and founding member of Arc Editions. Her work has been shown at the Tate, ICA, and the Courtauld Institute of Art. Her first poetry collection, Caught, was published by Smokestack in 2011. Bean is the co-editor, with Chris McCabe, of The New Concrete (Hayward Publishing).

A class now being offered by the Alberta College for Arts and Design (ACAD) is proving that studying English doesn’t have to be boring – it can be as exciting as a game of dungeons and dragons – literally.

Instructor Derek Beaulieu has developed a new way of teaching his English 217 class, which he has developed from traditional studies of poetry, to comic books and now, with a vintage twist, choose your own adventure books and other narrative-style board games.

That’s right – you can play your way through English class.

“Officially it’s called introduction to narrative and what we’re going to do is to look at how readers create their own narrative,” Beaulieu said. “Basically, different forms that involve the reader in a writerly role, which basically makes you and the writer equivalent people.”

Class will consist of analyzing choose your own adventure styled books and creating a storyline tree, playing narrative games like dungeons and dragons and other reader driven story games.

“The whole idea is these are all print-based forerunners for the Internet,” Beaulieu said. “Choose your own adventure games are rudimentary video games.”

“How we understand what reading is has changed. Reading is the traditional form, picking up a book, reading it cover to cover, but also reading has become way more interactive,” Beaulieu said.

Beaulieu will be looking for board game donations as well as book donations to beef up his repertoire for students in class. He is even considering a lunch time board game club for interested students.

Although the class seems a little off the wall, it’s still an applicable credit Beaulieu said – adding it’s designed with artists and tactile learners in mind. He is teaching them to apply what they learn to web design, video games and other modern storytelling techniques.

“We’re going to basically turn a literary course into a game for us to teach us the decision-making process around video games…this is going to be the most fun, most weird, most engaged class ever.”

Wanna give up your old DM stuff?
Donations can be arranged by sending an email to or dropping them off for Beaulieu at the ACAD office.


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