Ontario’s Chris Turnbull has included one of my concrete poems in her GROVE PROJECT whereby poems are placed in natural environments…

Rhys Farrell, with whom I wrote Lens Flare (Guillemot, 2021), has re-imagined our collaborations as monumental murals on the exterior walls of Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (where I am Director of Literary Arts). While only fantasies, these images conceive of Banff Centre’s huge walls covered with our day-glo collaborations… enjoy!

14 Ways of Being Kinder to the Earth – a small PDF anthology of Concrete poetry, edited by Gregory Betts and i, featuring poetry by Kevin Stebner, APpy Monks, Vasilios Billy Mavreas, bill bissett, Marianne Holm Hansen & Dani Spinosa, Sacha Archer, Kyle Flemmer, Kate Siklosi, Gary Barwin, Laura Kerr, Eli Horn & Donato Mancini, and Matthew James Weigel – is now available for download.

Have a look!

ICYMI: purchase a physical copy — or download a PDF — and link to all of the critical and creative responses to my 2017 book a, A Novel ( Jean Boîte Editions, 2017)

available for order here.

Derek Beaulieu’s a, A Novel is an erasure-based translative response to Andy Warhol’s eponymous novel. Beaulieu carefully erases all of the text on each page of the original work, leaving only the punctuation marks, typists’ insertions and onomatopoeic words. The resultant text is a novelistic ballet mécanique, a visual orchestration of the traffic signals and street noise of 1960’s New York City. This visually powerful half score/half novel highlights the musicality of non-narrative sounds embedded within conversation.

Published in December 1968, Andy Warhol’s a, A Novel consists solely of the transcribed conversations of Factory denizen Ondine (Robert Olivo). Ondine’s amphetamine-addled conversations were captured on audiotape as he haunted the Factory, hailed cabs to late-night parties and traded gossip with Warhol and his coterie. The tapes were roughly transcribed by a small group of high school students. Rife with typographic errors, censored sections, and a chorus of voices, the 451 pages of transcription became, unedited, “a new kind of pop artefact”. These pages emphasize transcription over narration, hazard over composition.

In his book, Derek Beaulieu offers a radical displacement of Andy Warhol’s work. He erases the novel’s speaking characters – members of the mid 1960’s New York avant-garde – and preserves only the musicality of their conversations. Beaulieu perfectly provides a tangible example of Theodor Adorno’s theory elaborated in his essay Punctuation Marks, in which he argues that punctuation marks are the “traffic signals” of literature and that there is “no element in which language resembles music more than in the punctuation marks”.

This visual poetry is accompanied by an essay by Gilda Williams, “Breaking Up is Hard to Do. Men, Women, and Punctuation in Warhol’s Novel a”. Her deep knowledge of both Andy Warhol’s work and the history of contemporary art explores the complicated history of the original novel and highlights the urgent and precise spirit of Derek Beaulieu’s work—the work of an artist who situates Uncreative Writing at the core of contemporary literature and artistic labour.

ICYMI: download a PDF and link to all of the critical responses to my out-of-print 2007 book flatland: a romance of many dimensions (York, UK: information as material).

“As the Greenbergian modernists proclaimed the flatness of the canvas, so derek beaulieu reduces the page to a flat plane. The result is a new kind of flatness-call it non-illusionistic literature — a depthless fiction, one where image and narrative is reduced to line and shadow. In the great tradition of Picabia, beaulieu creates a perfect work of mechanical writing with one foot in the concrete poetic past and another in the flat screen future.”— Kenneth Goldsmith

CDN Warren manipulates 8 of my poems in APERTURE to create “VENT: 8 Abominations for Derek Beaulieu“, a series of remixed visual poems, each building on the original in surprising ways (thank you so much!)

Sal Nunchakov transforms a excerpt from my chapbook “Extispicium” into Waving at Derek, a trio of beautifully manipulated visual images in the latest issue of Anamorphoseis – check it out!

So pleased to have a small bundle of buttons/badges depicting one of my visual poems, courtesy Angie Butler at the Centre for Print Research (thank you!); I’ll be giving them away to good homes of course!

Now available from Puddles of Sky Press: One Simple Symmetry & Nine Variations

One Simple Symmetry & Nine Variations is a suite of visual poems. The original is Letraset on paper and the pieces that follow are photocopy manipulations, each creating a fluid, liquid response to the strict symmetry of the original, moving the formality of Letraset into something amorphous and organic. Find out more, and order the chapbook here.

Jonathan Ball at The Winnipeg Free Press has briefly reviewed Lens Flare in the latest issue:

Lens Flare, by Derek Beaulieu and Rhys Farrell (Guillemot, 56 pages, $18), takes the full text of Beaulieu’s 2019 book of visual poems, Aperture, and has Farrell manipulate and obscure them using strange landscape-like shapes exploding with bright colours.

The collaboration builds on what Aperture already did, which is mix the handmade artwork of Letraset with the digital manipulations of computer art. The resulting visual poems move even further away from the already fractured realm of the unsayable, so that each page becomes a strange and beautiful mishmash.