Once updrytransferon a time, back before desktop computers were everywhere, dry-transfer lettering (Letraset) was in wide use by graphic designers, artists, advertisers, printing studios and more … it was sold in a variety of typefaces and symbols, sizes and colours.

Today, it has nowhere near the distribution or appeal that it once had.

Except it’s my media of choice.

As a visual artist, writer and as Calgary’s Poet Laureate, I use Letraset as an on-going part of my practice to create pieces ranging in size from smaller than a quarter to entire walls … and I’m quickly running out. Every piece I create results in one less letter or symbol that I can use for future work.

Perhaps you can help?

I’m seeking donations from the back-closets, unused drawers, storage rooms and tickle trunks out there — do you have any dry-transfer lettering that you no longer desire and would be happy to pass along to a good home?

If you do, please drop me a line at derek.beaulieu@acad.ca … or donations could be mailed to:

Derek Beaulieu, School of Critical & Creative Studies, Alberta College of Art & Design, 1407 14 Avenue Northwest, Calgary, AB T2N 4R3





PoetLaureateLogo_02014 has been one heck of a year:

– on April 28th I was named Calgary’s Poet Laureate, an incredible honour. This position has helped me initiate a number of events and programs (some of which are still cooking and thus aren’t quite ready to be plated) which work to recognize, celebrate and build upon Calgary’s literary history and community. Huge thanks to Emiko Muraki, Christine Armstrong and all the amazing folks at CADA for their amazing work and dedication since April — and for all the ways that CADA helps the city’s arts communities.

– i have been lucky to have conducted readings at talks at Mount Royal University, The University of Calgary, Brock University (St.Catharines, ON), and Roehampton University (London, UK) and at public events in Lethbridge, Manchester and Calgary (sixteen events in Calgary alone this year). Thank you so much to all of the organizers, hosts, colleagues, freinds and audiences with whom i’ve shared these experiences.

– My students and colleagues recognized and awarded my teaching with the Alberta College of Art + Design Student Association Appreciation Award and the inaugural Robert Kroetsch Teaching Innovation Award from the Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs (CCWWP). Thank you. I was thrilled to share with students at Mount Royal, ACAD and at Wordsworth Teen Summer Camp (8 courses & the camp over the year)

– i’ve been lucky to have work published magazines, journals and books in Canada, the US, Germany, England and France and work included in gallery exhibitions in Canada, Austria, the Netherlands, England and the US.  I was also the first artist-in-residence in the Lightbox Studio in Calgary’s Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts (now the Arts Commons) – thank you Natasha Jensen for all the organizational acumen. My work was  projected on the side of the Calgary Tower and posted on billboards on Calgary’s busiest freeways thanks to the initiatives of Calgary’s Wordfest.

– Los Angeles-based press Les Figues published my latest volume of visual poetry, KERN, and for that i am incredibly grateful. thank you Andrew, Vanessa and Teresa.

– through No press I published 19 different editions of poetry and prose from international, national and local emerging and established writers. each book was meant to help spread the word of risk-taking work being written internationally. Thank you for trusting me with your work.

– lastly, i capped the year off with a trip to London with my family in order to defend my Phd dissertation in Creative Writing at Roehampton University under the supervision of Dr. Peter Jaeger and Mr. Jeff Hilson – both of whom have been exceptional teachers and mentors.

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 can only excel because of the strength and support of my community of freinds and colleagues, especially Christian Bok, Sina Queyras, Darren Wershler, Kenneth Goldsmith, Tony Trehy, Jordan Scott, Greg Betts, Lori Emerson, Jo Steffens, Kit Dobson, Helen Hajnoczky … and so many others. Thank you. And thank you to my students who always encourage me to listen, to share, to push my practice and my pedagogy. You rock.




FullSizeRenderOnce again, December brings an opportunity to reflect upon the year’s books. Like previous years, my “most engaging books” list is idiosyncratic and reflects what i found most fascinating / useful / generative. Seek out these volumes, every one will reward the search (and your local, independent, bookstore can help…). This was an amazing year for poetry with many titles that were simply exceptional. This is the cream of the crop for 2014, seriously:

Abel, Jordan. Un/Inhabited. (Talonbooks / ProjectSpace)

Babstock, Ken. On Malice. (Coach House Books)

Czech, Natalie. I can not repeat what I hear. (Spector)

Dodds, Jeramy, trans. The Poetic Edda. (Coach House Books)

Emerson, Lori. Reading Writing Interfaces from the Digital to the Bookbound. (University of Minnesota Press)

Fitterman, Robert. No, wait. Yep. Definitely still hate myself. (Ugly Duckling Presse)

Hancock, Brecken. Broom Broom. (Coach House Books)

Lockwood, Patricia. Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexual. (Penguin)

Queyras, Sina. MxT. (Coach House Books)

Robertson, Lisa. Cinema of the Present. (Coach House Books)

Simpson, Natalie. Thrum. (Talonbooks)

Zultanski, Steven. Bribery. (Ugly Duckling Presse)

kern-derek-beaulieu-cover-front-featureJonathan Ball has reviewed Kern in the Winnipeg Free Press:

Derek Beaulieu’s Kern (Les Figues, 92 pages, $17) presents a suite of visual poems, crafted by hand using dry-transfer lettering, a non-computer process used “in graphic design, technical drafting and advertising from the early 1960s to early 1990s.” The resulting visual poems are intended by Beaulieu as “logos and slogans for… impossible businesses,” corporations that never existed, advertisements for inscrutable products.

While many of the poems seem precisely that, others sprawl like tentacled life forms — degraded, as if by age, rather than dated, frozen in a time that never was. Still others seem like maps of alien worlds, cities of language.

Beaulieu has a startling talent for producing letter patterns that seem somehow natural fits. Despite their stark artificiality, they seem somehow natural and inevitable. In this way, too, the poems operate like visual meditations on corporate transformation of our physical and psychic landscapes.

kern-derek-beaulieu-cover-front-featureOliva Niland at Neon Tommy reviews KERN:

Conceptualized as a collection of fictional logos, some of the “Kern”’s poems vaguely resemble shapes and words, making their interpretations perhaps a bit less obtuse, but for the most part, the poems are somehow both tightly designed and utterly abstract.

Beaulieu, a poet, editor, publisher and teacher at the Alberta College of Art + Design, has created a book, printed entirely in black-and-white, which still manages to be immensely visually engaging. Rather than relying on words and color, as traditional poetry or artwork typically would, “Kern” relies on variations in font face, weight and size to create unique messages and movements with letters, and occasionally numbers. The pieces have no titles, but are arranged in a sequence that begins with the most sparse, minimalistic poetry, gradually developing into pieces which entirely overtake the book’s final pages. 

I’m proud to have several pieces (both my own and those published by no press) featured in Annette Gilbert’s lovely new REPRINT APPROPRIATION (&) LITERATURE (Luxbooks, 2014) …

photo 3 photo 2 photo 1
„The New Sentence? The Old Sentence, reframed, is enough.” — Kenneth Goldsmith

Since the 1960s, writers have radically challenged the notion of originality and creativity in literature. They stopped writing new texts for their books and instead drew upon pre-existing books: canonical texts of world literature or intellectual history are transcribed by hand, edited, altered, alphabetically arranged or simply copied and republished under one’s own name. By now Appropriation Literature amounts to a critical mass that has generated its own tradition. The present anthology is the first to give an international overview of the phenomenon, presenting 126 books and projects by over 90 authors.

Annette Gilbert is a scholar in comparative literature at the Freie Universitaet Berlin and postdoctoral research fellow of the Volkswagen Foundation. Her main areas of research are experimental and avant-garde literature and art, materiality and mediality of literature, artists’ books, and interart studies.

10574148_756699277700271_7507697478183994998_nI’m honoured to have work in CLOSE TO HOME: AN ARTISTS’ BOOK SHOWCASE!

On Monday, November 17th between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm in the upstairs reading room of The Banff Centre’s Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives, CLOSE TO HOME: AN ARTISTS’ BOOK SHOWCASE will feature a selection of artist’s books made and published in Calgary and Banff.

Access the reading room from the 2nd floor of the Kinnear Centre for Creativity & Innovation (KCCI).

This sampling will include items from: disOrientation Chapbooks, Second Wednesday Press, No Press, The Banff Centre, Walter Phillips Gallery, Mary Anne Moser, Jin-me Yoon, Ashok Mathur, Suzette Mayr, and many more!


I am proud as punch to announce that my Alberta College of Art and Design ENGL215 students have just published:


In Networks, nineteen undergraduate art students reply and explore the poetic implications of Jen Bervin’s Nets (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2004). Each piece is accompanied by a short statement of artistic intent, allowing each artist to expand upon visuality. In this volume each contributor explores the boundaries of their own expectations: finding connection in chance, situating their work in dialogue and defining their practice as existing without a net. Including work by: JADDA TSUI | RUI GAO | LEAH KINCH | AUDREY BURCH | JEMMA VAN OSCH | LUKE PITCHFORD | CHANTAL GERVAIS | LAURA PRITCHARD | WEHKWAS DEROCHER | JEREMY KIMMETT | SAMANTHA BROTHERS | LYDIA MUGAMBI | NATALIE APPLEBY | JESSICA STEPHENSON | AINSLEY DACK | JULIAN JANOVCIK | XU SUN | EMILIE-JUSTINE MACPHAIL | SHANNON LEARDO

Compiled and edited by derek beaulieu.

48 pages, full-colour, perfect-bound

Copies of NETWORKS are now available for $3.41 + postage

photoBeaulieu, Derek and Gregory Betts, eds. Avant Canada: more useful knowledge.

Calgary: No press, November 2014. 98 copies.

A boxed edition with individual leaflets and chapbooks by Jordan Abel, Lillian Allen, Gary Barwin, Christian Bok, Jaap Blonk, Louis Cabri, Stephen Cain, Natalee Caple, Margaret Christakos, Carmen Derkson, Skawannati, Neil Hennessy, Karl Jirgens, Derek Knight, Jason Edward Lewis, Tanis MacDoanld, Shannon Maguire, Lee Maracle, Nicole Markotic, Steve McCaffery, Andrew McEwan, kevin mcpherson eckhoff, Michal Nardone, Julia Polyck-O’Niell, Katie Price, a.rawlings, Shane Rhodes, Lisa Robertson, Eric Schmaltz, Stephen Scobie, Ron Silliman, Natalie Simpson, Chet Singh, Christine Stewart, Fenn Stewart, Natalie Zina Walschotts, d’bi.young anitafrika and the editors.

Distributed free to contributors and registrants at the Avant Canada: artists, prophets and revolutionaries. (Brock University, Nov 5-7, 2014)


I’m thrilled to announce that my ACAD ENGL216 students have just published:

a suite of responses to Natalie Simpson’s Thrum

In Antiphon, seventeen undergraduate art students reply to the poetic implications of Natalie Simpson’s Thrum (Talonbooks, 2014). In Thrum Simpson explores how language “gapple[s] every filament twisting without wind” in a roiling boil of the everyday made strange. An “antiphon” is a call-and-response, choir-based form of chant and with Antiphon a choir of students add their artistic responses to the fray.
Each piece is accompanied by a short statement of artistic intent, allowing the artists to expand upon visuality.
In this volume each contributor explores the boundaries of their own expectations allowing language to be loosened from the need to mean in favour of a reveling in sound.
Including work by:

Compiled and edited by derek beaulieu.

48 pages, full-colour, perfect-bound

Copies of Antiphon are now available for $3.41 + postage


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