I’m honoured to have been awarded the CCWWP/PPCCL Robert Kroetsch Teaching Innovation Award for my work at Alberta College of Art + Design. Thank you so much, I’m thrilled.
Documentary Poetry by Heimrad Bäcker
with “Afterword: A Past Charged with Now-Time” by Sabine Zelger
In a Bilingual edition, translated by Jacquelyn Deal and Patrick Greaney.
Published in a hand-bound edition of 80 copies (only 40 of which are for sale), Documentary Poetry is available for $12+postage ($15 total). To order please email derek beaulieu.
“Documentary literature cuts through the skeins of imagination, paralyzes the literary impulses of the will, makes secondary reflection into an unnecessary addition, and negates remembrance ceremonies’ formulaic horror; documentary literature suffers no reduction in efficacy by repeated usage, makes visible that which is hidden by public and private mediocrity and its schematizing tendencies.”
Documentary Poetry presents the principles that guided Bäcker’s writing practice. It is one of the longest texts in poetics that he published during his lifetime.
Heimrad Bäcker (1925–2003) was an artist, poet, and influential editor of the Austrian avant-garde. He is the author of seven volumes of poetry, including transcript (Dalkey Archive Press, 2010) and Seascape (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2013). He published major works by Austrian artists and experimental writers in his journal neue texte (1968–1991) and under the imprint of Edition Neue Texte (1976–1992), the publishing house that he ran along with his wife Margret Bäcker. Most of his literary works draw on the methods of concrete and visual poetry to present documentary material about the Shoah. These books were historical and literary, and they were also part of a critical autobiography, an examination of Bäcker’s enthusiastic participation in the Hitler Youth and the Nazi Party.
Heimrad Bäcker’s “Dokumentarische Dichtung” was first published in the Vienna literary journal Protokolle, 29.2 (1992). This reprint and translation have been authorized by Thomas Eder, Bäcker’s literary executor. The translation was supported by a grant from the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Art, and Culture.
Produced in a limited edition of 50 hand-bound copies.
Kate Briggs teaches the translation workshop component of the Master’s in Cultural Translation at The American University of Paris. She also teaches creative writing at Paris College of Art and in 2013-14 will be guest tutor at Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam. She is co-editor of The Nabokov Paper (Information as Material, 2013)
“On reading as an alternation of flights and perchings.” is now available for $3ea.
To order please email derek beaulieu
The University of Calgary’s Gauntlet newspaper has interviewed me on “Advice for aspiring poets” in which i plead that emerging poets should “Make it fucked up, make it strange, make it digital, make it infected…”
Produced in a limited edition of 60 hand-bound copies.
From BEING DUMB:
“I am a dumb writer, perhaps one of the dumbest that’s ever lived. Whenever I have an idea, I question myself whether it is sufficiently dumb. I ask myself, is it possible that this, in any way, could be considered smart? If the answer is no, I proceed. I don’t write anything new or original. I copy pre-existing texts and move information from one place to another. A child could do what I do, but wouldn’t dare to for fear of being called stupid.”
Originally published online at The Awl, BEING DUMB is now available for $7ea.
To order please email derek beaulieu
Mount Royal University student Andrea Johnston has just posted a brief article on the challenges of close-reading visual poetry at the Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs (CCWWP) blog. You can read “The Problem of Reading Visual Poetry” here.
Lori Emerson and I are proud to have edited Writing Surfaces: Selected Fiction of John Riddell through Wilfrid Laurier University Press. Copies are now available to order through your local independent bookstore.