Jorge Luis Borges – The Library of Babel

Borges’ short stories are a touchstone for me – i constantly return to the strange and fantastic puzzles he offers writers and readers around the nature of writing, originality and archiving. Amazing.

Jordan Abel – UN/INHABITED

Abel’s 2014 volume UN/INHABITED takes risks in ways few poets are willing. His use of the page to explore the composition field, whiteness, topographies and the “public domain” are breathtaking and unforgiving.

Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse – BETWEEN PAGE AND SCREEN

Borsuk and Bouse’s 2012 volume BETWEEN PAGE AND SCREEN is deceptively complicated. One first take the single-sided pages contain simple constructivist-styled QR codes which seem to sit in quiet majesty. Once those images are viewed with your computer’s camera activated, however, they unleash shimming columns of animated, three-dimensional visual poems. This book points to an impossible future for writing.


As edited by Darren Wershler and Lori Emerson, bpNichol’s 2007 collection THE ALPHABET GAME: A bpNICHOL READER is botha stunning glimpse into the potential of writing – long poems, pataphysics, comics, scripts, nouveau roman, visual poetry, autobiography, puns – Nichol’s poetic thinking (which spread to Fraggle Rock, The Racoons, operas and more) points to all the possibilities in a alphabet that stretches way beyond the thinking limited by 26 letters.


As translated by Jody Gladding, Michele Metail’s 2017 collection WILD GEESE RETURNING: CHINESE REVERSIBLE POEMS collects, translates and examines a selection of almost 1800 years of poems which are designed to be read in multiple directions (with multiple meanings), in circles and in grids. These poems – often written to lost or distant lovers, twist and feign across the page like the “flight of wild geese” coursing a path on the wind.

Derek Beaulieu is the author/editor of over twenty collections of poetry, prose, and criticism. His most recent volume of fiction, a, A Novel was published by Paris’s Jean Boîte Editions (2017) and he edited bpNichol’s Nights on Prose Mountain (Coach House Books, 2018). Derek Beaulieu holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Roehampton University and is the Director of Literary Arts and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

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