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Avant Canada
Poets, Prophets, Revolutionaries
9781771123525 Paperback, Trade English General Trade LITERARY CRITICISM / Poetry Jan 10, 2019
$39.99 CAD
Active 6 x 9 x 0.8 in | 540 gr 350 pages 15 b&w illustrations throughout Wilfrid Laurier University Press

Avant Canada presents a rich collection of original essays and creative works on a representative array of avant-garde literary movements in Canada from the past fifty years. From the work of Leonard Cohen and bpNichol to that of Jordan Abel and Liz Howard, Avant Canada features twenty-eight of the best writers and critics in the field.

The book proposes four dominant modes of avant-garde production: “Concrete Poetics,” which accentuates the visual and material aspects of language; “Language Writing,” which challenges the interconnection between words and things; “Identity Writing,” which interrogates the self and its sociopolitical position; and “Copyleft Poetics,” which undermines our habitual assumptions about the ownership of expression. A fifth section commemorates the importance of the Centennial in the 1960s at a time when avant-garde cultures in Canada began to emerge.

Readers of this book will become familiar with some of the most challenging works of literature—and their creators—that this country has ever produced. From Concrete Poetry in the 1960s through to Indigenous Literature in the 2010s, Avant Canada offers the most sweeping study of the literary avant-garde in Canada to date.

  • first and most complete survey of contemporary avant-garde activity in Canada.
  • explores intersection of Canadian avant-gardisms and Indigenous decolonization
  • discusses controversial topics such as the relationship between Canadian and Indigenous literature, cultural appropriation, gender and the Conceptual Writing movement
  • Contributors
    Gregory Betts, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON
    Christian Bök, Charles Darwin University, Australia
    Lisa Robertson, Independent artist, France
    Liz Howard, Independent artist, Toronto, ON
    Kristine Smitka, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB
    Stephen Cain, York University, Toronto, ON
    Julia Polyck-O’Neill, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON
    Mike Borkent, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
    Eric Schmaltz, York University, Toronto, ON
    Kelly Mark, Independent artist, Toronto, ON
    Kaie Kellough, Independent artist, Montreal, QC
    Michael Roberson, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC
    Kit Dobson, Mount Royal University, Calgary, AB
    Dorothy Trujillo Lusk, Independent artist, Vancouver, BC
    Donato Mancini, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC
    Myra Bloom, University of Toronto, ON
    Sonnet L’Abbé, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC
    Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Independent artist, Peterborough, ON
    Lee Maracle, University of Toronto, ON
    Marie Annharte Baker, Independent artist, Vancouver, BC
    Helen Hajnoczky, Independent artist, Calgary, AB
    Darren Wershler, Concordia University, Montreal, QC
    Derek Beaulieu, Alberta College of Art and Design, Calgary, AB
    Moez Surani, Independent artist, Toronto, ON
    Ray Hsu, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
    André Alexis, Independent artist, Toronto, ON
    Jordan Abel, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC
    Erin Mouré, Independent artist, Montreal, QC

    Gregory Betts is the Chancellor's Chair for Research Excellence at Brock University and the director of the Centre for Canadian Studies. He is the author of Avant-Garde Canadian Literature: The Early Manifestations (2013) as well as six books of experimental poetry. He is currently the artistic director of the Festival of Readers in St. Catharines.

    Christian Bök won the Griffin Poetry Prize for his book Eunoia. He is currently working on The Xenotext, a project that requires him to encode a poem into the genome of a microbe capable of thriving in any inhospitable environment. Bök is a Fellow in the Royal Society of Canada, and he teaches at Charles Darwin University.

    This collection of academic essays and creative pieces takes an enthusiastic, engaged attitude to the unrolling of Canadian literature, starting with an intelligent introduction by editors Gregory Betts and Christian Bök [...] - Derek Webster, Canadian Notes and Queries, 2018

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    Avant-Garde Canadian Literature Gregory Betts 9781442643772 $73.00 CAD Feb 27, 2013
    Space Between Her Lips Margaret Christakos 9781771122979 $18.99 CAD Apr 13, 2017

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