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.

Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald
calgary-ab-august-28-2015-derek-beaulieu-holds-a-stPublished on: August 30, 2015 | Last Updated: August 30, 2015 6:15 AM MDT

For those who remember the exciting, adventure-filled Choose Your Own Adventure books from their childhood, Inside UFO 54-40 may sound a touch nihilistic.

Judging by the cover of the 1982 book by Edward Packard — No. 12 of the popular series — the tale involves UFOs, spider-like aliens and those famous heads on Easter Island. It apparently has 30 possible resolutions and, according to Calgary’s poet laureate Derek Beaulieu, all but one end badly.

“Oddly enough, it’s the only Choose your Own Adventure book that cannot be solved,” says Beaulieu. “There is one happy ending. All the other endings are unhappy. There is one happy ending and you cannot reach it. It’s in the book, you can see it, but none of the choices you make ever lead there. So it’s fascinating.”

It’s not surprising that Beaulieu, known for challenging orthodoxy as both an experimental poet and instructor at Alberta College of Art and Design, chooses Inside UFO 54-40 when asked his favourite Choose Your Own Adventure book.

It was a recent discovery for Beaulieu, not one of the many books from the series he read as a kid. Like many of a certain vintage, he was obsessed with them as a boy. When his parents unearthed a few that had been buried in a box at Beaulieu’s childhood home, it got him thinking.

On Sept. 9, a new batch of students will be taking Beaulieu’s Introduction to Narrative course at ACAD. By that point, he hopes to have accumulated a collection of Choose Your Own Adventure books, and role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons, to use as part of the curriculum. No one is arguing that these books are high art. But they did foreshadow a type of storytelling that is now so ubiquitous that we take it for granted. Take Wikipedia, for instance. It’s a new form of self-directed learning “where you start out reading about Calgary and you end up talking about Elvis just because you followed the various links around,” Beaulieu says.

“A lot of the students in this course are design students,” he says. “These are students who want to get into website design, into commercials, into television and movie design. In a lot of ways, Choose Your Own Adventure books foregrounded the way we understand narrative as working on websites and in video games. This is basically fodder for how we understand how video games work. You can turn this way or that way, in any first-person, shooter-style game and it leads to different branched narratives that go from there. That’s the fun thing for me as a teacher is that my students know more about that than I do. I can start the conversation with these books and they can finish the conversation with these websites and video games.”

Beaulieu, who became Calgary’s Poet Laureate in April of 2014, has often used unusual methods as a teacher. In 2013 he asked the public to donate manual typewriters so his creative writing students could learn “how we interface with the tools we have now” by using “dead technology.”

He is now hoping the public will part with whatever Choose Your Own Adventure books they may have kicking around.

“I’m sure that if I had a few in a box, a lot of other people will as well,” Beaulieu says. “These are mass-produced paperbacks and if we can gather them up and use them for a student base they are something we can use over and over.”

The Choose Your Own Adventure series hit their height of popularity in the 1980s. But, oddly enough, the idea of readers being active participants in the narrative they are reading has not completely died out. Actor Neil Patrick Harris toyed with it in his book Choose Your Own Autobiography. Jonathan Ball’s Ex-Machina and Joey Dubuc’s Neither Either Nor Or follow the formula as well.

Beaulieu stresses that this is not a literature appreciation course. Choose Your Own Adventure books aren’t likely to replace Shakespeare anytime soon.

On the other hand …

“One of my favourite new books is a fabulous Choose Your Own Adventure-style book,” Beaulieu says. “It’s about 600-pages long. It’s title is To Be or Not to Be (by Ryan North.). It’s a Choose Your Own Adventure style retelling of Hamlet. There are thousands of different ways of finishing the book. You can be Ophelia, or Hamlet, or Hamlet Sr., the ghost.”

If you have Choose Your Own Adventure books, role-playing or narrative card games to donate, e-mail Beaulieu at or drop them off at ACAD’s front desk.


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