The bastard child of art and poetry, visual poetry won’t get you laid. A misfit relative, neither muggle nor magic, art brut nor horror vacui, it doesn’t fit into standard mainstream categories. It’s seldom published in book form, and it’s a rare feature in literary magazines, such as fillingStation and Rampike, no longer in production, (but many rare and wonderful, current or back copies still available from publisher upon request, just send email order to: email@example.com). The current issue is on newsstands all over the globe until August, 2016.
Thank you to Kitty McKay Lewis who suggested that visual poetry should be part of Brick Books’ year-long celebration of Canadian poetry. Here are a few practitioners who have kindly accepted my invitation to the drunken party. Whether they are reacting against the tyranny of convention in the form of the left-hand side of the page, Canada’s atrocious treatment of its indigenous peoples, consumerism as foisted on us by large corporations, or are engaging with age-old rituals, the visual poets presented below offer a variety of methods, styles and aesthetics that demonstrate one thing: visual poetry refuses to be pigeon-holed.
To read Part 1 about Jordan Abel, Gary Barwin, Derek Beaulieu, Michael e. Casteels, Judith Copithorne, Helen Hajnockzky and Donato Mancini, click here.
To read Part 2 about Billy Mavreas, kevin mcpherson eckhoff, gustave morin, michèle provost, a rawlings, Shane Rhodes, Eric Schmaltz, Chris Turnbull and Eric Zboya, click here.