AI poems by Pratim Sengupta and I: “asterisk ampersand asterisk: the poetry of the Centennial Planetarium” was unveiled this evening as part Planetary, the premiere exhibition at now at Contemporary Calgary…

more on the exhibition :
Worlds collide: 36 local artists contemplate the Earth and cosmos for first exhibit at Contemporary Calgary.” Calgary Herald. Jan 23, 2020.

Contemporary Calgary Launches Inaugural Season.” Avenue. Jan 22, 2020.

Contemporary Calgary art gallery debuts in former Centennial Planetarium building.” CTV News. Jan 27, 2020.

‪Thank you so much to Gary Barwin for naming my ON SYNTAX one of his favourite books of 2019. While the book is out of print, the publisher, Timglaset editions, has made the book available as a free PDF

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 in terms of form & content. Seek out these volumes; every one will reward the search (your local, independent, bookstore can help). This is the cream of the crop for 2019, seriously:

Aguiar, Fernando. Poems without Words (Timglaset). 

Barwin, Gary. (Alessandro Porco, Ed.) For it is a Pleasure and a Surprise to Breathe. (Wolsak and Wynn)

Cage, John. Diary: How to Improve the World (You will only make matters worse). (Siglio)

Cage, John. Love, Icebox: Letters from John Cage to Merce Cunningham. (John Cage Trust)

Courtois, Gregoire. (Rhonda Mullins, trans.) The Laws of the Skies. (Coach House Books)

Dworkin, Craig. The Pine-Woods Notebook (Kenning)

Leslie, Woody. Understanding Molecular Typography. (Ugly Duckling Presse)

rawlings, angela. Sound of Mull. (Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology)

Terry, Philip, Ed. The Penguin Book of Oulipo. (Penguin)

Waider, Isabel. We Are Made of Diamond Stuff. (Dostoevsky Wannabe)

Zawacki, Andrew. Un/Sun. (Coach House Books)

2019 was an incredible year:

2019 was my first full year as Director of Literary Arts at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and in October I unveiled the full-slate of Literary Arts programming for 2020/2021. It is a true honour to be part of Banff Centre, to work with such exceptional colleagues, and to have my family here on the side of Sleeping Buffalo Mountain with me, and to help create such an incredible space.

Shropshire, UK’s Penteract Press published my day-glo technicolor suite of visual poems, Aperture, in the spring — I am thrilled to see my concrete poetry finally realized in full colour. They also released a limited-edition poster in support of the book.

Invisible City Records released BOTHBOTHBOTH by Stuart Chalmers & See Monsd, a limited-edition CD & minidisc of audio responses to my visual poetry; its an incredible thrill to hear how my work inspires such responses. The tracks are also available to stream or download.

This year I have been lucky to have conducted readings and talks at Text / Sound / Performance: Making in Canadian Space (University College, Dublin) and at public events in Dublin, St.Catharines, Vancouver, Banff, Calgary and Canmore — Thank you so much to all of the organizers, hosts, colleagues, friends and audiences with whom I’ve shared the stage.

I’ve been lucky to have work published in il verri: reviche chose mi aspetto ddalla critica, Publishing Manifestos: An International Anthology from Artists and Writers, Forty Proper Tales, The Charles Bernstein Mixtape, Reflections, they will keep speaking the night, Not Your Best and 7 different magazines. 

There were also 7 different small press editions of my work were published in 2019: occupied floor (No Press), Extispicium (Proper tales press),  150 (for Andy) (with Arnold McBay, Timglaset), Helvetica (Happy Monks), give ’er (synch2), On Syntax (Timglaset) and Skare (Viktlösheten). I continue to place free PDFs of my work online. My artistic work was included in gallery exhibitions in Ottawa, St. Catharines, Windsor, Leeds, New Orleans, Vancouver, and Bern.

Through No Press I published 17 different editions of poetry and prose from international, national and local emerging and established writers. You can support No Press through Patreon. Each edition was meant to help spread the word of risk-taking international writing. Thank you for trusting me with your work.

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 and Lisa Betts, Christian Bok, Kit Dobson, Kenneth Goldsmith, Helen Hajnoczky, Nasser Hussain, Sina Queyras, Jordan Scott and so many others. Thank you.

EXTISPICIUM is now available; a piece of writing which is deeply personal and a lot of years in the making. A slow, difficult process but one which I’m glad to see the light of day thru Stuart Ross’s exceptional Proper Tales Press. $8 postpaid. email to order…

& thank you rob mclennan for the brief review of the chapbook


             — after Rimbaud

A black, E white, I red, U green, O blue: vowels,
soon I’ll mourn your hidden shrieks:
A: a corset embroidered with a cirrus wave of carrion,
clouding the sky over a dead pigeon,
an apple gone soft in the swelter of summer
as flies crawl across a tyrant’s open eye.  
The swirling maggots blister and hatch to
a static of blindness. E: An iceberg reflected in a cataract iris.

A snowy quadrangle afloat in a sea of cream,
the hateful hood over a chessboard knight;
I, the spittle of opium flowers nestled within a blistered palm,
a cracked brick held in anger above a burning crowd.
U: shards of broken glass
across the folded banner of Muhammad;

O: the tattered crash of porcelain
on the stones of Roman villas,
mined from the pits of Afghanistan:
—set ablaze in your accusing stare.

(download a PDF of this poem’s original publication, a leaflet from Calgary’s Blasted Tree Press)

APERTURE — my volume of day-glow dry-transfer concrete poetry – is now available as a free PDF: (please also consider ordering a print copy direct from from Penteract Press)

BANFF, AB, October 30, 2019 – Derek Beaulieu joined Banff Centre in October of 2018 and has focused on bringing new faculty and new opportunities to writers. He has focused his efforts on building new partnerships, expanding international connections, and strengthening Albertan and Canadian writing.

 “This year’s Literary Arts residencies will emphasize pairing faculty mentors who bring an exceptional practice, a generosity of spirit and dynamic mentorship experience. Our faculty and residents look to find the edges of what we believe possible in language, and explore that boundary through practice-based research. They expand our understanding of the artfulness and potential of the Literary Arts to facilitate new ways of knowing. They are dedicated to the understanding that artistic creation is a community-driven process; it interweaves us” said Beaulieu

 “The best writers model a practice to their peers and to emerging members of the wider literary community: editing, publishing, offering advice and consultation, they listen and lead by example in open conversation about difference, practice, voice and form – all of which leads to an art-form which is generous and generative.”

Highlights for the 2020-2021 programming year include:

Seasonal Writers Retreats: A series of independent seasonal self-directed programs that offers time and space for writers to retreat, reconnect, and re-energize their writing practice with faculty mentors:

•           Giller Prize Finalists Gary Barwin and Anakana Schofield (January 2020)
•           Giller Prize Finalist Zoe Whittall and acclaimed poet Lucas Crawford (March 2020)
•           Griffin Prize Recipient Jordan Abel and acclaimed poet Kaie Kellough (August 2020)
•           Griffin Prize Recipient Karen Solie and Governor-General Award nominee Sina Queyras (December 2020)
•           Novelist / journalist Waubgeshig Rice and poet Emma Healey (January 2021)
•           Poet/performer Angela Rawlings and poet Jenna Butler (March 2021)

Poetry, Politics and Embodiment (April 6 – 18, 2020): Explore poetry as a vehicle of liberation and protest; about subjectivity and embodiment as poetry’s context; and about how race, gender, class, sexuality, and ability pressurize aesthetic categories with Griffin Prize Recipient Billy-Ray Belcourt and acclaimed poet Mercedes Eng.

Writing Studio (April 27 – May 30, 2020): An ideal environment for artistic inspiration and growth, Writing Studio provides writers and poets with an extended period of uninterrupted writing time and one-on-one editorial assistance from Program Director Caroline Adderson, Associate Director (Poetry) Karen Solie, Associate Director (Fiction) Shyam Selvadurai and Faculty Kazim Ali, Anosh Irani, Rawi Hage, Ian Williams, Marina Endicott and Paula Morris.

Banff International Literary Translation Centre (BILTC) (June 1 – 20, 2020): This fully-scholarshipped residency offers student, emerging, and professional literary translators a period of uninterrupted work on a current project. Participants will work individually and as a group with a faculty of accomplished translators of French, English, and Spanish. The new Director of BILTC will be announced shortly.

Literary Journalism (June 29 – July 25, 2020): This fully-scholarshipped month-long residency encourages the exploration of new ideas in journalism and experimentation in writing. Designed to challenge and stimulate, the program aims to inspire creative pieces of writing, which might otherwise be difficult to complete. A preeminent space for long-form journalism, this residency emphasizes the strengths of thorough and articulate reporting, distinctive storytelling, and literary devices. The new Rogers Communications Chair of Literary Journalism will be announced shortly.

Fall Thematic (August 24 – September 5, 2020): Banff Centre’s first residency dedicated to Speculative Fiction, with Sunburst Award Recipient Nalo Hopkinson, Hugo Prize Recipient Emily Pohl-Weary and internationally-acclaimed author Jeff Vandermeer as guest speaker.

Investigative Journalism (September 14 – 23, 2020): This residency provides a wide-ranging introduction to the use of investigative research in nonfiction writing. Through a combination of interactive seminars and workshops with Faculty Patti Sonntag and Robert Cribb, participants will learn to identify research sources, mine the necessary information, and turn data and interviews into rich, engaging narratives.

Emerging Writers (September 28 – October 6, 2020): This fully-scholarshipped, workshop-based program embraces multiple genres, providing structured support for new creative writers wanting to improve their writing skills with Director Katherena Vermette and a team of exceptional mentors.

Mountain and Wilderness Writing (October 23 – November 14, 2020): This three-week residency for nine writers working in any genre (fiction, nonfiction, journalism, or poetry), on environmental journalism, mountain narratives, stories of wilderness adventure, or projects with an environmental theme is housed in Banff Centre’s prestigious Leighton Studios.

Banff Centre’s Director of Literary Arts, Derek Beaulieu has received national and local awards for his teaching of 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. Derek Beaulieu is the author and editor of over 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 poetry is the technicolour Aperture (Penteract press, 2019).

Media Contact:

Erin Brant-Filliter

Acting Director – Communications

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