it's official!

I wasn't hallucinating... I actually did win the thing.

Though the word has been out for a while, the WFNB website hadn't posted the results until yesterday. Check out all the winners here.

the idea for a work supplants the work

Works of conceptual literature have primarily responded to the historical precedents set by two disparate movements in the avant-garde: first, the systematic writing of Oulipian pataphysicians (like Queneau, Roubaud, et al.); second, the procedural artwork of American conceptualists (like Kosuth, Huebler, et al.) — precedents that, in both cases, reduce creativity to a tautological array of preconceived rules, whose logic culminates, not in the mandatory creation of a concrete object, but in the potential argument for some abstract schema. Ideas that we conceive for works now become systemic “axioms,” and the works that we generate from these ideas now become elective “proofs.” The concept for the artwork now absorbs the quality of the artwork itself. The idea for a work supplants the work. The idea renders the genesis of the work optional, if not needless. For the proponents of conceptual literature, a writer no longer cultivates any subjective readerships by writing a text to be read, so much as the writer cultivates a collective “thinkership” — an audience that no longer even has to read the text itself in order to appreciate the importance of its innovation.

- Christian Bök, fueling the thinkership over at Harriet. Read the whole post here.


titty kitty proximity

Daniel Zomparelli has some tits... whoops, tips... for bloggers over at Geist:

What Do Lady Gaga, Batman and the Jackpine Sonnet Have In Common? Not Much.

I made my own list a while back. It didn't rhyme, but it was dirtier (and all true!). Ah, internets...

readerless reading report

Despite lacking its starring reader, last Tuesday's reading was a great success. Diane Tucker stepped in and opened things with a great improvised feature reading, and the eight open-mic readers presented diverse, and entertaining, work.

Diane and I were able to promote the Alfred Gustav Press a bit, which is publishing chapbooks by both of us (and also Shane Neilson) in the Fall. I even managed to raise a bit of money for the Al Purdy A-Frame Trust (a day before the 10th anniversary of Al's death). Speaking of which, if you haven't read George Bowering's piece on Purdy from the latest issue of The Walrus, you should do so here.

Thanks to Maureen Egan, the Burnaby Writers Society, and everyone who came out!

Next month: me, Emily D and GM Hopkins!


totally deadening in terms of imaginative literature

In the academy, identity politics has replaced any kind of politics known to the rest of the world. So they’ve invented this idea of authenticity: that one can only talk about where one is personally coming from, and only the people coming from a culture are able to talk with any authority about that culture at all. This strikes me as totally deadening in terms of imaginative literature, and also utterly unrealistic: Would you rely on any random American for a trenchant analysis of the USA?

- Eliot Weinberger, in interview with New Directions. You can watch a video of the interview here and read the transcript here. Thanks to Don Share for pointing this out.


oy goodness things are happening

Thank you, poetry gods, for keeping everything in balance. We can't have things go smoothly for more than a day, now can we?

David Zieroth was to be flying in from Maui today, but now isn't in until tomorrow... So it looks like I'll be featuring alone tonight (or possibly with Diane Tucker, an excellent replacement, if we can convince her on short notice). Hopefully people won't storm the stage (or worse, walk out) when they find out, though I'll forgive them if they do.

Now that I think of it, this is a rather ingenious strategy... I should pretend to be reading with a big-name poet all the time, and then have them mysteriously cancel at the last minute. Next month it'll be me and Robert Hass. The month after, me and the reanimated corpse of Emily Dickinson. They'll show. I promise.

The details for tonight's reading, updated:

Spoken Ink Reading Series
Tuesday, April 20th, 8:00 PM
La Fontana Caffe
101 - 3701 East Hastings, Burnaby
Featuring: Myself and NO David Zieroth
Thankfully Free!
Inaccurate Poster


oh goodness things are happening

My dear friend Agnes Gulbinowicz has written a post for Beyond Robson about David Zieroth and my reading tomorrow night. It features some kind words from Agnes, some moderately coherent thoughts on poetry from me, and a good deal of hype from both of us. You can read it here.

The post also lets slip a secret I've known for a few days: that I won the WFNB's Alfred G. Bailey manuscript contest! Perhaps you are not aware of how insane this is. This is very, very insane. I staggered around my yard hyperventilating for fifteen minutes after hearing the news. It was as though I had stumbled upon an animal which God did not intend (I'm talking about you, platypus) - things like this just don't happen to me. Incredible thanks to the WFNB and to this year's judge, Mark Callanan, for believing in this here hyperventilating platypus.

And to suspend reality a little further, I get to read with a GG-winner tomorrow night. AAAAAH! The details:
Spoken Ink Reading Series
Tuesday, April 20th, 8:00 PM
La Fontana Caffe
101 - 3701 East Hastings, Burnaby
Featuring: David Zieroth and myself

Hope to see you there!


only in april

... are there this many "readings" posts... that big list keeps on a-growin' (if you're keeping track at home, we're up to four events on Thursday night).

Tired of reading these announcements? Here's something neat to play with, care of Dani Couture. Not tired of reading them? Then do I have a treat for you:

Launch of Solar Poems by Homero Aridjis
Thursday, April 15th, 7:00 PM
UBC Library/Bookstore at Robson Square
800 Robson Street, Vancouver
Featuring: The books translator, George McWhirter

Locution Reading Series
Thursday, April 15th, 7:00 PM
Pulpfiction Books
2422 Main Street, Vancouver
Featuring: Michelle Wright and Margret Bollerup

NaPoMo/Nightwood Reading
Thursday, April 22nd, 7:00 PM
UBC Library/Bookstore at Robson Square
800 Robson Street, Vancouver
Featuring: Gillian Jerome, Laisha Rosnau and Gregory Scofield



... to Tracy Stefanucci of One Cool Word for being named the BC Association of Magazine Publisher's Volunteer of the Year.

OCW was one of the first print mags to run a poem of mine, and I can only guess at how many other artists in Vancouver have gotten a similar boost from the little-magazine-that-could (my guess: a whole bunch, give or take a couple).

You can show your appreciation by going to OCW's issue #16 launch next Thursday!


help sachiko murakami finish her manuscript

... by writing a small portion of it. Specifically, she wants your Olympic observations.

more april for you

More Vancouver readings (also added to the big list):

Angela Long and Susan Musgrave Reading
Wednesday, April 14, 7:30 - 9:00 PM
Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye Rooms, Lower Level
Central Library
350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
Featuring: Surprise! Angela Long and Susan Musgrave

SubTerrain Issue #54/55: Vancouver’s Literary Landscape
Thursday, April 15th, 7:00 PM
Café Montmarte
4362 Main Street, Vancouver
Featuring: George Bowering, Trevor Carolan, Cynthia Flood, Catherine Owen, Peter Trower, and George Stanley

Geist #76 Launch / 20th B-Day
Saturday, April 17, 5:30 – 8:00 PM
Listel Hotel
1300 Robson St., Vancouver
Featuring: Brad Cran, Jill Mandrake and more!
$5 donation to the Geist Writers and Artists Fund

Word Whips: Alley Ways: The Hidden Places Uncovered
Tuesday, April 20th, 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Sidney and Gertrude Zack Gallery
950 W.41st Avenue, Vancouver
Featuring: Daniela Elza, Christi Kramer, RC Weslowski, Sue Cormier, Don Simpson, Leef Evans and Alex Winstanley

Dining on Ambrosia: An Evening of Poetry, Performance and Participation Celebrating Earth Goddesses
Wednesday, April 21st, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Peter Kaye Room, Lower Level
Central Library
350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
Featuring: Susan McCaslin and Penn Kemp

Brick Books Spring Launch
Tuesday, April 27th, 7:30 - 9:00 PM
Peter Kaye Room, Lower Level
Central Library
350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
Featuring: Lorri Neilsen Glenn, Eve Joseph and John Donlan

Talon Books Spring 2010 Poetry Tour
Wednesday, April 28, 8:00pm
Heritage Hall
3102 Main Street, Vancouver
Featuring: derek beaulieu, Ken Belford, George Bowering, Weyman Chan, Stephen Collis, Frank Davey, Garry Thomas Morse, and Ken Norris


ocw's final issue

No, they aren't shutting down, just making some changes (including the name, it seems). Issue #16 of the soon-to-be-renamed One Cool Word (featuring my poem "You Can't Lead a Horse") will be launched in a couple weeks. The details:
OCW Issue #16 Launch
Thursday, April 15th, 8 PM
The Venue Formerly Known as The Cobalt
917 Main Street, Vancouver
Featuring: music by The Stolen Organ Family Band, Mississippi Live and The Autumn Portrait
$10 (includes an issue of the magazine)


they don't call it "poetry month" for nothing

It's got poetry readings, and lots of 'em! Here are a few more (also added to the big list):

Play Chthonics
Wednesday, April 7th, 7:30 PM
Graham House at Green College
6201 Cecil Green Park Road, Vancouver
Featuring: Adam Dickinson and Jeff Derksen

Robson Reading Series
Thursday, April 8th, 7:00 PM
UBC Bookstore/Library at Robson Square
800 Robson Street, Vancouver
Featuring: George Sipos and Pamela Mordecai

The Writer's Studio Reading Series
Friday, April 16th, 7:00 - 9:30 PM
Take 5 Café
429 Granville Street (at Hastings), Vancouver
Featuring: Renee Saklikar, Jennifer Getsinger, and more!

Spoken Ink Reading Series
Tuesday, April 20th, 8 PM
La Fontana Caffe
101 - 3701 East Hastings, Burnaby
Featuring: David Zieroth and myself