Archives for category: magazine contributions

As part of my on-going “Abstract Language” column at Abstract Comics: The Blog, this month I discuss ottar ormstad’s 2007 op art visual poetry suite  bokstavteppekatalogen.

Berfrois Magazine online has recently published a poem of mine — check it out here.

German typography magazine Slanted features a piece of mine in their discussion of the typographic grotesque. They commissioned me to create a Helvetica-based response to the Sex Pistol’s “Something Else” which can be found on page 87 of #14 of Slanted, available in print and online here.

The Calgary Herald takes an interest in my work in a piece entitled “alt.poet: Derek Beaulieu thinks outside the linguistic box

Ara Shirinyan’s Your Country is Great: Afghanistan – Guyana (Futurepoem books, 130 pp., $15.00) is a poetic engagement with travel writing and geopolitics, where every country from Afghanistan to Guyana (I assume there will be a second volume for the remaining countries) is defined solely through the flattened language of the internet.

Your Country is Great mines online citations of each country’s qualities and gathers them into mind-numbing scripts of unceasing inanities, “instead of accepting current notions of language as a medium of differentiation” Shirinyan “demonstrates its leveling quality, demolishing meaning into a puddle of platitudes.”

Your Country is Great is composed of 81 different poems, one per country, each of which is written solely through internet searches on “[country name] is great.” The results—with all the typographic and syntactic errors intact—are then simply arranged. Shirinyan’s only concession to the ‘poetic’ is enforcing line breaks.

Shirinyan empties the word “great” of all context and force, flattens it to the level of punctuation – suddenly every place on earth is “great”: “I don’t need no dude to say / that Barbados is great / for me to know that”, “”Belarus is great and amazing”, “”Brazil is great; amazing food, intelligent people”, “Canada is great!”, “Ecuador is great!: / ‘don’t be afraid.’” The platitudes are unceasing, but this communal writing also undermines itself.

The barrage of ‘greatness’ empties as the internet’s choir of voices offers such caveats to praise as “’living’ in Belgium is great, / although the deathmetal scene is / not that big over there” and “the need to reduce fat intake in Belgium / is great / and a thorough approach / is desirable.” The rhetoric of travel narratives, and even postcards home from wandering tourists (the mindless prattle of “Having a great time, wish you were here!”), are flattened into a sameness where every destination no matter how mundane is “great” simply because “The people are great, / a lot like us.”

Shirinyan’s Your Country is Great: Afghanistan – Guyana poeticizes the mundane, and makes the language of hyperbole tangible by emptying out its strength. This book is great.

hobo magazine #13 features interviews with Michelle Williams, Tom Robbins and some of my visual poetry in a special poetry insert — look for it!

Cork, Ireland’s The Enclave Review (ER) is a review sheet focusing on the visual arts but with additional texts relating to the greater sphere of contemporary art and thought. It has just archived its first 2 issues online, and has a PDF link to my article “It Quacks like a Duck: Conceptual Writing” here.

George Murray has recently asked me to join the emerging team behind his project George describes the project:

“I’m sick of borders. I’m sick of silos. Bunkers, too. Don’t even get me started on garrisons. I’m sick of the various poetries and poets I read and admire fighting and carping about each other instead of collaborating constructively (however that is interpreted between artists) to generate new poetic possibilities. I’m sick of judgments and systems of criticism that involve aesthetic preference over intellectual accomplishment, that reward attendance and loyalty over risk and depth, that spend more time tromping on the art and experiments of others than perfecting their own. I’m sick of lack of space for difference, or at least for difference within the same pages.” — check it out!


Avenue Magazine has an article on my work in the January 2011 issue. The article focuses on my Letraset visual poetry, and can be accessed here.

I recently reviewed Mark Laliberte’s brickbrickbrick (Toronto: Bookthug, 2010) at the advent book blog.