By bp Nichol
Edited by Stephen Cain
While bpNichol (1944-1988) has attained iconic status in Canadian literature in recent years, particularly through his lifelong poem The Martyrology and his work in visual and sound poetry, there are numerous early "fugitive" sequences that are often referred to in critical ... Read more
While bpNichol (1944-1988) has attained iconic status in Canadian literature in recent years, particularly through his lifelong poem The Martyrology and his work in visual and sound poetry, there are numerous early "fugitive" sequences that are often referred to in critical studies, but are long out of print and only available in library special collections or in the hands of rare book collectors. bp: beginnings brings together these pre-Martyrology materials in one comprehensive collection, including such key texts as Nichol's first chapbooks Beach Head and Cycles Etc. , the minimal lyric sequences The Other Side of the Room and The Journeying and the Returns, and various concrete and sound-texts such as Lament, The Year of the Frog and Ballads of the Restless Are. These collected sequences show Nichol developing his talents in both visual poetry and lyricism, pointing the way towards the union of the two forms in the later Martyrology. Combined with The Captain Poetry Poems (published by BookThug in 2011), bp: beginnings now makes all of Nichol's major poetry sequences available to both the avid Nichol specialists and to aficionados of innovative poetry everywhere.
bp Nichol was one of Canada’s most challenging and innovative poets. His writing spans a remarkable range—from concise allegories on a single letter, on through to sound poetry, fiction, theoretical investigations and culminating in his nine-volume poem The Martyrology. Meanwhile: The Critical Writings of bpNichol (2001), bpNichol Comics (2001), Rational Geomancy (1992) and Selected Writing: As Elected (1980) are also available from Talonbooks.
Stephen Cain (b.1970) is the author of dyslexicon (Coach House, 1999) and Torontology (ECW, 2001). His sound poetry can be heard on Carnivocal (Red Deer, 1999) and his concrete poetry has appeared internationally. He lives in Toronto where he is a literary editor at the Queen Street Quarterly and a fiction editor at Insomniac Press.
There's so much in bp: beginnings to revisit with pleasure or to discover, oh lucky readers, for the first time. A necessary book.
- Douglas Barbour
Thanks to Cain and BookThug, readers and scholars might possibly, for the first time, really be able to dig into a period of Nichol's work that hasn't really been explored properly.
- rob mclennan