beaulieu-emersonCounterpath is seeking performance, film, sound, writing, and
visual work that directly responds to or reads Writing Surfaces: The
Selected Fiction of John Riddell (2012, Wilfrid Laurier University
John 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 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 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
Counterpath will host an evening of approximately 5 performances of 10-15 minutes each on
December 14, 2013, at 7 p.m.

Please send a proposal of not more than 250 words to Counterpath
program coordinator Oren Silverman ( by October 31, 2013.