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Kern Paperback – January 24, 2013
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The detritus of signage is all around us. The poems in Derek Beaulieu's riveting new collection begin by resembling the signs, logos & slogans of everyday life and then become more & more unreadable. No two of these constellations are alike; each promises something it cannot quite fulfill, as readability, having failed, gives way to lookability. So suggestive are these images that we cannot stop looking, trying to decipher, to arrest the flow. Kern presents moments of poetic nostalgia for the signposts of a past that never fully existed. --Marjorie Perloff
Do letters have lives? We have to wonder, seduced as we are by the antics of these characters. The tradition of taking alphabetic forms & making them into suggestive glyphs has a complex history in the signs of masons, brands, trademarks, monograms & graphical poetics. In Beaulieu's Kern the principle of enjambment is put to poetic purpose. Kern is a living demonstration that poetry is about unleashing the potential of combinatoric protocols to drive the performative art of letters on a page. --Johanna Drucker
Kern tweaks the white space of the page, arranging language while unsettling letters. Machines made not of words, but characters, these poems crank and churn, antiquated material rattling to life beneath Beaulieu's beau frottage. The eye scans the boggled mass, seeing patterns within the patter as words stutter and boil while D.B. minds our b's and q's, p's and d's. --Amaranth Borsuk --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
derek beaulieu is the author or editor of 15 books, the most recent of which are Please, No more poetry: the poetry of derek beaulieu (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2013) and KERN (Les Figues Press, 2014). He is the publisher of the acclaimed no press and is the visual poetry editor at UBUWeb. Beaulieu has exhibited his work across Canada, the United States and Europe and currently teaches at the Alberta College of Art + Design. He is the 2014-2016 Poet Laureate of Calgary, Canada. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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