Archives for category: poetics

borsukFor the last two years I have posted my “most engaging books” list (2011’s list, 2010’s list) with a selection of what i considered the most fascinating / useful / generative books of the year. Seek out these volumes, every one will reward the search (and your local, independent, bookstore can help…). This is the cream of the crop for 2012:

Jaap Blonk Traces of Speech / Sprachspuren. (Berlin: Hybriden-Verlag.)

Amaranth Borsuk. Handiwork. (New York: Slope.)

Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse. Between Page and Screen. (Los Angeles: Siglio.)

Sophie Calle. The Address Book. (Los Angeles: Siglio.)

Natalie Czech. I have nothing to say. Only to show.(Leipzig: Spector Books)

Johanna Drucker. Druckworks: 40 years of Books and Projects. (Chicago: Columbia College)

Craig Dworkin, Simon Morris and Nick Thurston. Do or DIY. (York: information as material.)

Emma Healey. Begin with the End in Mind. (Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring.)

Dennis Lee. testament. (Toronto: House of Anansi.)

Edouard Leve. Autoportrait. trans. Lorin Stein (London: Dalkey Archive Press.)

Silvio Lorusso and Sebastian Schmieg. 56 Broken Kindle Screens. (print on demand.)

Jena Osman. Public Figures. (Middletown: Wesleyan UP)

Tom Phillips. A Humument. 5th edition (London: Thames and Hudson.)

Nicola Simpson, ed. Notes from the Cosmic Typewriter: The Life and Work of Dom Sylvester Houédard. (London: Occasional Papers)

Barrie Tullett. A Poem to Phillip Glass. 2nd edition. (York: The Caseroom Press.)

front coverSeen of the Crime: essays on conceptual writing [PDF] is now online through ubuweb (and thank you so much to Snare Books for the original edition):

The publication of bill bissett’s Rush: what fuckan theory; a study uv language in 1972 firmly ushered Canadian poetics into the postmodern era. Out of print for 40 years – and reissued here complete with an interview with bissett about the book’s creation and a critical afterword by derek beaulieu and Gregory Betts – Rush embodies a collagist, multi-conscious approach to art that recognizes no division between the work and the world, the author and his sexuality, his breath, his influences; the theory and the practice. Arguing that “a new line has started,” Rush captures the urgency of a new model of production that resists the closure and mastery of any one mind. It is an elegant rejection of aesthetic ego and all presumptions of authority. Rush: what fuckan theory; a study uv language is a vital, vocal protest against business as usual and the exploitation of the individual from one of Canada’s most important avant-garde poets.

Jeroen Nieuwland has just reviewed seen of the crime at his blog transversalinflections and expanded on this discussions here. More information on seen of the crime, including ordering information, can be found here.

rob mclennan’s above/ground press has just published

ECONOMIES OF SCALE: rob mclennan interviews derek beaulieu on NO PRESS / derek beaulieu interviews rob mclennan on above/ground press
with a selection of new work by both authors


Last December I posted my “most engaging books of 2010” list with 13 books of poetry, 2 of fiction, 2 of theory and 2 collecteds … this year the field consisted of a vastly different array of “most engaging” books. This is the cream of the crop for 2011:


Baum, Erica. Dog Ear. Brooklyn: Ugly Duckling, 2011.

Bergvall, Caroline. Meddle English. New York: Nightboat, 2011.

Dworkin, Craig. Motes. New York: Roof Books, 2011.

Fitterman, Robert. Holocaust Museum. London: Veer, 2011.

Place, Vanessa. Tragodia 2: Statement of the Case and Tragodia 3: Argument. Los Angeles: Blanc Press, 2011.


Bernstein, Charles. Attack of the Difficult Poems. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011.

Brotchie, Alastair. Alfred Jarry: A Pataphysical Life. Cambridge: MIT, 2011.

Dworkin, Craig and Kenneth Goldsmith. Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing. Evanston: Northwestern UP, 2011.

Gammel, Irene and Suzanne Zelazo, eds. Body Sweats: The Uncensored writings of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. Cambridge: MIT, 2011.

Goldsmith, Kenneth. Uncreative Writing. New York: Columbia UP, 2011.

Norddahl, Eirikur Orn. Booby, be Quiet! Helsinki: poesia, 2011.

RE-ISSUES (each of which are finally back in print this year)

McCaffery, Steve. Panopticon. Toronto: Bookthug, 2011.

Moure, Erin. Pillage Laud. Toronto: Bookthug, 2011.

Porter, Bern. Found Poems. New York: Nightboat, 2011.

Rinne, Cia. Zaroum. Reims: le clou dans le fer, 2011.

Robertson, Lisa. Occasional Work and Seven Walks from the Office of Soft Architecture. Toronto: Coach House, 2011.

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.

UBUWEB began as an online repository for concrete and visual poetry scanned from aging anthologies and re-imagined as back-lit transmissions from a potential future. As the archive has progressed, the concentration on visual poetry has waned in favour of an reconnoitering of diverse avant-gardes.

UBUWEB: VISUAL POETRY exposes little-seen exemplars of historical praxis and models of contemporary insight to a wider audience. This section includes anthologies, ephemeral publications, criticism and sporadic journals dedicated to visual poetry. Due to the elusive and ephemeral nature of concrete and visual poetry publications, there is a perceived lack of innovation in the genre. Without exposure to radical practice, artistic precedent and innovative models, concrete poets too often fall back upon familiar tropes and unchallenging forms.

UBUWEB: VISUAL POETRY is not presented under the rubric of historical coverage or indexical completeness, but rather as a document of isloate moments of what Haroldo de Campos argued was a “notion of literature not as craftsmanship but […] as an industrial prcoess” where the poem is a “prototype” rather than the “typical handiwork of artistic artistry.”

— derek beaulieu, curator.

No press is proud to announce the publication of:

Translated, and with an introduction by, Ray Ellenwood

Noted Quebecois author, playwright, poet and artist, Claude Gauvreau (1925-1971), was one of the Automatistes in Montreal and a signatory of Refus global. THE LUCID CLUSTERS is a selection of Gauvreau’s commentaries on poetics from his correspondence and addresses such fields as dada, Surrealism, Lettrisme and the OuLiPo. THE LUCID CLUSTERS marks the first time has work has been published west of Toronto in a solo edition.

Ray Ellenwood, Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar at York University in Toronto, is an award-winning translator and author of Egregore: A History of the Montréal Automatist Movement. In 1998, he organized a symposium, exhibition and concert at York University to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Refus global, and he continues to write and publish extensively about the Automatistes.

Published in a limited edition of 100 copies (only 50 of which are for sale)
40 pgs, hand-bound

Copies are available for $10.00 each

To order copies, please contact derek beaulieu.

Lori Emerson has just interviewed me on her blog about concrete poetry, technology and obsolescence…