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Archive for February 15th, 2012

February 15th, 2012 • Posted in Authors and Books

Audio: Interview with poet bill bissett

bill bissett

Monsieur Wikipedia informs us that bill bissett was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, attended Dalhousie University (1956) and the University of British Columbia (1963–1965), and dropped out of both because of a desire ‘to live as a free agent, writer and painter unencumbered by any academic constraints.’ He moved to Vancouver in 1958 and five years later set up blew ointment magazine. He later launched blewointment press, which has published volumes by Cathy Ford, Maxine Gadd, bpNichol, Ken West, Lionel Kearns and D. A. Levy, and many others.  bissett is currently based in Vancouver and Toronto.

Known for his ‘unique orthography’ , 4 incorporating visual elements into his printed poetry, and 4 performing "concrete sound" poetry using sound effects, chanting, and barefoot dancing, he is often associated with the Shamanistic in literature. He also paints, and produces audio recordings. His work ‘often involves humour, a sense of wonder and sentimentality, and political commentary.’

In 2006, Harbour Publishing put out  radiant danse uv being, a tribute to bissett with contributions from more than 80 writers, including Margaret Atwood, Leonard Cohen, Patrick Lane, Steve McCaffery, and P. K. Page; and Carl Peters has just published a book called textual vishyuns: image and text in the work of bill bissett that analyses the poet’s work.

I met with bill recently in Ottawa to talk about all of the above, starting with the blurring of borders. Please listen here:

February 15th, 2012 • Posted in On Collecting

Why rare books are the coolest collectible…


Stephen J. Gertz tells us here: "If you love to read, and appreciate art, craft, and the test of time as a measure of what’s true from what’s false, have an aversion to the artificial, a preference for content in the form that has yet to be improved upon, from the sacred to the profane and in the big middle, rare books are truly the coolest collectible."

February 15th, 2012 • Posted in On The Book

Rare Book School: The Student Experience

This summer’s Rare Book School course schedule has just been released. Check it out here.