bill bissett, poet, artist, performer, publisher (b at Halifax, NS 23 Nov 1939). The son of a judge, bill bissett ran away from home several times as a child, once to join a circus, looking to escape conventional middle-class life. In 1958-59 he moved to Vancouver, where he spent 2 years at the University of British Columbia before dropping out to pursue writing and painting. Although his poetics harmonized with the experimental creativity of the TISH movement, he was unable to find a publisher for his concrete and visual poetry. As a result, he founded blewointment magazine in 1962 to promote his own poetry and that of similar writers, such as bpNichol and Steve McCaffery. bill bissett is known for his distinct spelling, for combining lyric, visual, and sound poetry with drawing and collage, and for a deceptively naïve voice that masks the personal and political perceptiveness of his work. Continue reading at http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/bill-bissett/
Saturday 24 June—4.00 p.m. Di Brandt will be reading from her work. Here is a brief biography.
Di Brandt is the author and editor of more than a dozen books of poetry, fiction, creative essays and literary criticism. She has received numerous recognitions and prizes for her writing, including the Gerald Lampert Award for “best first book of poetry in Canada” for her bestselling debut collection questions i asked my mother (which was recently re-issued in a 30th anniversary tribute edition with afterword by Tanis MacDonald); the McNally Robinson Manitoba Book of the Year Award for Agnes in the sky; the CAA National Poetry Prize for Jerusalem, beloved; the Foreword Gold Medal for Watermelon Syrup: A Novel (with Annie Jacobsen and Jane Finlay-Young), and the Gabrielle Roy Prize for “best book of literary criticism in Canada” for Wider Boundaries of Daring: The Modernist Impulse in Canadian Women’s Poetry (with Barbara Godard). Now You Care was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Trillium Ontario Book of the Year, and the Pat Lowther Award.
Di Brandt’s collaborative multimedia works include Emily, the Way You Are, a one woman chamber opera about the life and works of Emily Carr, with composer Jana Skarecky; and Awakenings: Poetry and Music in Four Voices (with Dorothy Livesay, Rebecca Campbell
and Carol Ann Weaver). Di Brandt has taught at five Canadian universities including the University of Alberta, the University of Windsor, Ontario, and Brandon University, Manitoba, where she held the first Canada Research Chair in the Creative Arts, and developed an innovative multimedia creative arts program that was emulated in new interdisciplinary
programs across the country. She has given readings, lectures and workshops around the world, and held guest fellowships in Scotland, New York, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Japan. She currently lives in Winnipeg.
We also have two young cellists , Gillian and Rachel Young, who will play for us after the reading. Following this there will, of course, be the usual finger food and drinks so we can all exchange ideas and experiences.
Those of you who attended Micheal Basinski’s performance here in the fall of 2015 will realise how honoured we feel that The Poetry Collection, Capen Hall, University at Buffalo, has mounted a sizable part of our Cid Corman collection, which will remain open until 18 January 2017. For those who have not visited the Poetry Collection, and who have time to spend a day in Buffalo, below are a few extracts from the Collection’s website. If considering a day trip, the Knox-Albright gallery is not far away.
The Poetry Collection is only twenty minutes from the border if you take the Lewiston Bridge. Please contact us if you want guidance for a simple route.
When the Poetry Collection began in 1937, its original mission was to collect first editions of poetry written in English and English translation published since 1900. Today, the collection houses over 140,000 titles of Anglophone poetry including 6,600 broadsides as well as an extensive selection of little magazines, anthologies, criticism, reference books, ephemera and audio recordings, making it the largest poetry library of its kind in North America.
Throughout the 20th century, “little magazines”—magazines usually noncommercial in nature and often committed to certain literary ideals—have been a primary organ for the dissemination of poetry and for the formation of literary communities across the aesthetic and political spectra.
The Poetry Collection maintains a comprehensive selection of over 9,000 titles of past and current little magazines, literary journals, university reviews, newspapers and other poetry periodicals, and is particularly strong in its holdings of independent publications.
Soon after establishing the Poetry Collection, Charles Abbott made a concerted effort to begin collecting the working manuscripts and letters of contemporary poets, soliciting donations from hundreds of writers such as Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore and Wallace Stevens and establishing a tradition of acquiring others. These form the foundation of the Contemporary Manuscripts Collection, which contains tens of thousands of pages of manuscripts and correspondence from hundreds of American, British, Irish, Canadian and Australian authors. Additionally, there are more than 150 named collections, including the world’s largest and most distinguished archive of James Joyce manuscripts as well as major selections of papers from Robert Graves, Theodore Enslin, Robert Duncan, John Logan, Helen Adam, John Montague, Clark Coolidge, Michael Palmer, William Carlos Williams, Basil Bunting, Dylan Thomas, Jonathan Williams and Wyndham Lewis. The collection also holds the archives of several important small presses and magazines.
Also featured in the Poetry Collection are the personal libraries of writers such as Helen Adam, Basil Bunting, Robert Duncan, James Joyce and John Logan; artworks by Constantin Brancusi, Jess (Collins), Wyndham Lewis, E. E. Cummings and many others; and substantial collections of mail art, visual and concrete poetry, photographs and zines.
Friends of Vocamus Press is holding our 1st Annual Writers’ Getaway on Saturday, October 22. It’s your chance to get away with other writers for a day to focus on your work.