Community Literary Main Space News

A Reading from the Ether

A Reading from the Ether with bill bissett and Christine Walde
presented as part of STANZAS produced by the Victoria Arts Council in conjunction with Planet Earth Poetry

Thursday 22 October, 4:30PM Pacific Time (online)

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bill bissett garnered international attention in the 1960s as a pre-eminent figure of the counter-culture movement in Canada and the U.K. In 1964, he founded blewointment press, which published the works of bpNichol and Steve McCaffery, among others. bissett’s charged readings, which never fail to amaze his audiences, incorporate sound poetry, chanting and singing, the verve of which is only matched by his prolific writing career—over seventy books of bissett’s poetry have been published.
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 and has consistently worked to extend the boundaries of language and visual image, honing a synthesis of the two in the medium of concrete poetry.

Whether paying tribute to his hometown lunaria or exercising his native tongue dissent, bissett continues to dance upon the cutting edge of poetics and performance works. Last year Talonbooks released bissett’s most recent collection, breth – th treez uv lunaria: selektid rare n nu pomes n drawings, 1957–2019.

bissett has contributed to concrete is porous which is co-curated by Hart Broudy, Brian Dedora, and Daniel F Bradley.

Christine Walde is a writer, artist and librarian whose work combines library and archival research with interests in experimental prose, poetry, visual poetry, performance, and the visual arts.  Walde’s latest body of work, In a New Order, is on view in the Victoria Arts Council VAULT as part of concrete is porous.In A New Order is a series of visual poems, including remixes and reinterpretations, of Joy Division’s iconic song from 1980, “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Printed and then torn apart by hand, divided, and separated, the lyrics are then rearranged and recomposed, but in a new order, referencing the rebirth of Joy Division as the band New Order, following the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis. In every poem, each word appears the same number of times as in the original song, however there are variations. In some poems, the words are randomly selected, following the same order of consonants in each stanza while strictly adhering to the same consonants and line breaks. In other poems, lines are composed in a kind of free verse, using only the words from the original lyrics, and arranged in a multiplicity of ways, including by order and repetition, cluster formation, as well as by mirroring each corresponding stanza.

Presented as part of STANZAS