Archives for posts with tag: calgary

Unknown ACAD Liberal Studies Instructor Derek Beaulieu is planning to teach his students how to type.

Starting in January, every student in Beaulieu’s Creative Writing course will be required to create all of their notes, their assignments and their final projects on portable manual typewriters.

Students will be required to write in class, in coffee houses and on public transit in order to make traditional poetry and prose, but also to use the typewriters to create portraits and music — all in order to explore the artistic possibilities of these sadly neglected machines.

In order to bring these ideas to his students, Beaulieu is seeking the donation of 35 portable, manual typewriters in working condition. 

“Typewriters epitomize the romance of being a writer. Every typewriter harkens back to a golden age: the clack of the keys, the ding of the carriage, the rachetting of the roller. This is an opportunity for students to engage as artists with the sensual, tactile experience of making language.”

Unknown-2Beaulieu has already started to gather a few typewriters, most of which he has found in the dusty corners of shops in Okotoks, Blairmore, Coleman and on the neglected shelves of jumble shops in Calgary. Well-oiled and awaiting the ingenuity of students to bring them alive again, each typewriter allows for a new chance to see these once frequent machines to ring with new projects and manuscripts.

Students will sign out the typewriters and will be required to return them at the end of semester in working order, allowing for an ongoing resource and a chance to offer the class again and again. At the end of semester student projects will be celebrated in a small gallery exhibition on campus.

Old portable typewriters — found in basements, closets and backroom storage — are perfectly ideal for this unusual course as every typewriter will allow a student to treat writing as a hands-on process — a chance to relearn how it felt to write one letter at a time.

ACAD has a rich legacy of hands-on education in craft, design and art — and this course brings all of those ideas to creative writing in one noisy, clacking classroom of student-driven exploration.

Derek Beaulieu can be reached via email

The Calgary Herald takes an interest in my work in a piece entitled “alt.poet: Derek Beaulieu thinks outside the linguistic box

Four videos of my performance May 29, 2011 in Calgary’s Riley Park as part of the filling Station / Pooka Press Pub Crawl (as recorded by Helen Hajnoczky):

For the week of July 10-16 2011, I am teaching in Bragg Creek as part of the Wordsworth Literary Camp (aimed at 15-19 year olds). I’ll be teaching “Thriving under pressure” in which students will discuss how poets and fiction writers have found means of making language flourish under the most rigorous of restrictions; hone your voice through exercises related to some of the most unusual contemporary books out there: narrative without words, poems without letters, throat-singing and beat-boxing, missing vowels, restricted word-counts, visual poetry, sound poetry — all of these subjects are fodder for a class which will challenge how you see writing and what it means to be a writer.

I’m teaching English 364 – “Poetry Writing I” at the University of Calgary for the 2011/12 academic year. More information about the course can be found here.

Seen of the Crime, my first collection of essays and criticism has just been announced by Montreal’s Snare Books for Fall 2011. Snare is one of the best emerging presses in Canada and every title they make is worth the price of admission…

The City of Calgary Announces Short List for W.O. Mitchell Book Prize

The City of Calgary, the Writers Guild of Alberta and Uptown 17 BRZ are pleased to announce the short list authors for The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize, one of 17 awards presented as part of The Calgary Awards.

The three finalists include Derek Beaulieu for How to Write(Talon Books), Weyman Chan for Hypoderm (Talon Books), and Clem Martini and Olivier Martini for Bitter Medicine (Freehand Books).

In How to Write,Derek Beaulieu writes an indexical, playful and innovative “how to” manual like no other. Derek is a Canadian poet, publisher and anthologist who studied contemporary Canadian poetics at the University of Calgary.

Hypoderm is Weyman Chan’s third collection of poems subtitled “notes to myself” which is a compilation of observations, intimations and recognitions of mortality. Weyman is a Calgary-born poet whose writings have appeared in many Alberta anthologies over the last two decades.

In Bitter Medicine, award-winning playwright Clem Martini chronicles his family’s 30-year struggle with schizophrenia that has plagued those closest to him – his brothers Ben and Olivier. The book is complemented by Olivier Martini’s childlike yet expressive drawings. Both Clem and Olivier reside in Calgary.

The City of Calgary established the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize in honour of the late Calgary writer W.O. Mitchell to recognize literary achievement by Calgary authors. The $5000 prize is awarded each year for an outstanding book published in the award year. The 2009 recipient was Gordon Pengilly for Metastasis and Other Plays.

The winner of The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize will be recognized at the Calgary Awards presentation on June 15, 2011. The Calgary Awards will be televised live on Shaw TV.