bill bissett and MLA Chernoff perform at University of Waterloo

bill bissett and MLA Chernoff will be performing live from 2:30-4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16, in the Chapel of St. Bede, Renison University College, University of Waterloo. This event is co-sponsored by the University of Waterloo and the Elora Poetry Centre & Gallery, with support from the Arts First Pedagogical Enhancement Fund at University of Waterloo, the League of Canadian Poets, and Canada Council for the Arts. It is linked to the annual 100 Thousand Poets for Change global poetry initiative organized by Michael Rothenberg, held in over 700 international locations.

Described by Jack Kerouac as “one of the great poets,” bill bissett is an internationally acclaimed language poet, artist, and musician. He is the author of more than 60 books of poetry. Safia Southey observes, “bissett dispenses with standard written English (initial capitals, spelling, and punctuation), connecting with language on an elemental level that some reviewers have considered shaman-like.” Frank Davey has described him as “rejecting the conventional or ‘straight’ world . . . not only in lifestyle but in ruthless alterations to conventional syntax.” bill is a spellbinding performance artist who has delighted audiences at the Elora Poetry Centre on two previous occasions coordinated with 100 Thousand Poets for Change.


Gordon Hill Press, publisher of MLA Chernoff’s recent collection [Squelch Procedures], notes that “MLA Chernoff (they/ them/@citation_bb) was born at Women’s College Hospital in December of 1991–oops. They are a six-hundred-year-old Jewish, non-binary pome machine, a Postmodern Neo-Marxist, and (somehow) a PhD Candidate of the Neoliberal University of York University, where they once held a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship–no kidding.” MLA delivered a stunning virtual performance for students at Renison University College and friends of the Elora Poetry Centre a year ago.

Although it is being staged for ARTS 130 at University of Waterloo, the event is open to the Renison and University of Waterloo communities, friends of the Elora Poetry Centre, and general public. The Chapel of St. Bede is part of the Renison University College campus and can be accessed from Renison’s main parking lot. Please contact the Elora Poetry Centre & Gallery in advance for details on parking.

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