A pioneer of sound, visual and performance poetry?eschewing the artificial hierarchies of meaning and the privileging of things (?proper” nouns) over actions imposed on language by capital letters; the metric limitations imposed on the possibilities of expression by punctuation; and the illusion of formal transparency imposed on the written word by standard (rather than phonetic) spelling?bissett composes his poems as scripts for pure performance.
His primal rejection of all the limiting conventions of written language has allowed him to both maintain and foreground the appearance of any linguistic event as a living performance rather than backgrounding it(s breath [spirit]) as a ?dead letter” in all of his work.
Here, bissett reminds us (based on the latest neurological research) that:
langwage centrs ar all ovr th brain
northern wild roses dansing can stall deth postal parts uv speech arts uv each sylabul a liter sentens thn thot wud happn
bill bissett opened Canadian poetry to postmodernism and from there proceeded in every direction all at once. Since his invention of the blewointment press in 1963, bissett has worked diligently to explode all boundaries of author, text, and context, radically disrupting static and disciplinary modes of art making. Read, taught, studied, and imitated all around the world, he now lives in Toronto, painting and writing somewhere between painting and poetry.
derek beaulieu is the author 9 books of poetry and conceptual fiction, editor of the acclaimed small presses housepress and No Press and co-editor of Writing Surfaces: the Selected Fiction of John Riddell (2013). He is an instructor at Mount Royal University and the Alberta College of Art + Design. beaulieu's Seen of the Crime: Essays on Conceptual Writing was published in 2011.
Gregory Betts is the Director of Canadian Studies and the Graduate Program Director of Canadian and American Studies at Brock University. He is the author of five books of poetry, and the editor of four books of experimental Canadian writing. His monograph Avant-Garde Canadian Literature: The Early Manifestations is forthcoming from the University of Toronto Press.
?[bissett’s] poetry addresses the limitless discussion of the boundaries between the personal and the political.?
? National Post
“[bissett’s] poetry addresses the limitless discussion of the boundaries between the personal and the political.”
— National Post
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