bill bissett, who recently celebrated his seventieth birthday, remains even in his ?biblical years” Canada’s most exciting, innovative pioneer in the field of the written, spoken, performed, illustrated and sculpted word. No one over the past half century comes close to what bissett has accomplished in pushing the boundaries of language beyond what was imagined in the mid-twentieth century as their furthest possible horizon, and what is most astonishing is that he is still the vanguard of that movement in the ?language arts”, not just in Canada, but around the world today. As a way of introducing new readers to the non-hierarchical orthography, syntax and breath-determined metric and cadence so essential to the construction of meaning in the performance scores of his narrative poetry, Talon asked bissett to tell his readers in his own inimitable and ?raging” way what his latest book is ?about”:
time is reelee abt how evreething is fleeting n how we deel with that n how deeplee we undrstand that awareness th jewels shine as our undrstandings th layrs n openings apertures n iris lens in or not n how manee narrativs reveel our paradoxikul n continualee shifting minds ? a storee is what time is it ? 4 ourselvs n our specees n how timeless th breth uv th galaxee n oftn ourselvs tho agen fleeting lyrik song chant philosophikal theologikul prsonal propheseez vizual n tanguld tangos ? with th invisibul dansrs ? n th 4tune tellrs shuffuling theyr decks how we yern 4 n letting go uv our games finding love n th chancs 4 savin th environment n our selvs
? bill bissett
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.
?His poetry addresses the limitless discussion of the boundaries between the personal and the political.”
? National Post
“His poetry addresses the limitless discussion of the boundaries between the personal and the political.”
— National Post
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