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Posted: Tuesday March 23, 2010
bill bissett

originalee from lunaria ovr 300 yeers ago in lunarian time
sent by shuttul thru halifax nova scotia originalee wantid 2
b dansr n figur skatr became a poet n paintr in my longings
after 12 operaysyuns reelee preventid me from following th
inishul direksyuns
– bill bissett

bill bissett garnered international attention in the 1960s as a pre-eminent figure of the counter-culture movement in Canada and the U.K. In 1964, he founded blewointment press, which published the works of bpNichol and Steve McCaffery, among others.

bissett’s charged readings, which never fail to amaze his audiences, incorporate sound poetry, chanting and singing, the verve of which is only matched by his prolific writing career—over seventy books of bissett’s poetry have been published.

A pioneer of sound, visual and performance poetry—eschewing the artificial hierarchies of meaning and the privileging of things (“proper” nouns) over actions imposed on language by capital letters; the metric limitations imposed on the possibilities of expression by punctuation; and the illusion of formal transparency imposed on the written word by standard (rather than phonetic) spelling—bissett composes his poems as scripts for pure performance and has consistently worked to extend the boundaries of language and visual image, honing a synthesis of the two in the medium of concrete poetry.

Whether paying tribute to his hometown lunaria or exercising his native tongue dissent, bissett continues to dance upon upon the cutting edge of poetics and performance works.

bill bissett was recently a featured poet on the Heart of a Poet series, produced in conjunction with Bravo! TV.

Among bissett’s many awards are: The George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award (2007); BC Book Prizes Dorothy Livesay Prize (2003) peter among th towring boxes / text bites; BC Book Prizes Dorothy Livesay Prize (1993) inkorrect thots.

LATEST bill bissett NEWS

September 2016 : Photos from WORD Vancouver 2016

September 2016 : bill bissett wins Pandora Award!

September 2016 : This Sunday: WORD Vancouver!

July 2016 : Tomorrow! Carl Peters talks Gertrude Stein at People’s Co-op Books, Vancouver

July 2016 : Tonight in New York City, the Poets House Poetry Publication Showcase opens New York City

May 2016 : Listen: Full audio recording of our recent Vancouver launch

April 2016 : Photos from our big launch last night

April 2016 : Two quadruple book launches this week!

March 2016 : Save the date! April 26 – the Talon Spring 2016 Poetry Launch in Vancouver

March 2016 : Save the date! April 28 – the Talon Spring 2016 Poetry Launch in Calgary

March 2016 : Th Book is the new book

January 2016 : A look at what’s coming this spring

November 2015 : Tonight! The Western Front in Vancouver launches its archives

October 2015 : bill bissett is a Chemical Brother

June 2014 : Tomorrow in Abbotsford! Spoken Word and Bubbly with Adeena Karasick

June 2014 : Film Screening and Talk by Dr. Carl Peters in Abbotsford tonight!

May 2014 : Tomorrow: George Bowering Reads in Abbotsford, BC

April 2014 : The Artwork of bill bissett at the Reach Gallery in Abbotsford, BC

April 2014 : Congratulations to bill bissett, Winner of the 2014 Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award!

April 2014 : It’s Poetry Month!

December 2013 : bill bissett 2014 Calendars Now Available!

October 2013 : Talon Authors Unite at WORD Vancouver


Winner of the 2014 Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award for Spoken Word


th book

“bill bissett, still relevant to younger audiences, balances multiple platforms, different genres, different ways of being, corporal, ephemeral, healthy, unhealthy, solvent and stuck, of sound and unsound mind. th book is a catalogue of prescriptions for getting through the pain, and this time more than before he doesn’t flinch at the details. … the art of reading bill is quite simple and very rewarding. He paints with words and music, orchestrating the apparent randomness of creation with an ironic intelligence that leaps just as high off the page as it does on stage. … We are lines that intersect and interact. In [bissett’s] perfect world, there are no degrees of separation as we move in and out, interact, love and accept one another.”
Pacific Rim Review of Books

From textual vishyuns: image and text in the work of bill bissett:
“bissett breaks down form in order to see in a particular way; the results are discontinuous and always inclusive; he sees what there is to see, and he is continuously and endlessly xpressing that textual vishyun.”
– Carl Peters

Praise for ths is erth thees ar peopul:
“His poetry addresses the limitless discussion of the boundaries between the personal and the political.”
National Post

Praise for hungree throat:
“An interesting and intriguing reading/viewing of the struggles of coming to terms with, and visualizing, a tumultuous world and ‘how we feel abt unsirtintee.’ ”
Canadian Literature


hungree throat

“…plays with connections and tensions between images and language by weaving together drawings, visual poems, lyric poems, and prose while telling the story of the relationship between two gay men through several stages of their lives. In classic bissett style, the short sections are written in phonetic rather than grammatical English and often integrate discussions between the characters on meditation, metaphysics, and the challenge of overcoming fears, traumas, and disappointments. The spiritual, Zen-like focus of the book adds to the salience of the psychedelic images and weaves them into the narrative. … noteworthy, especially for bissett’s mesmerizing images and their interactions with the language surrounding them … an interesting and intriguing reading/viewing of the struggles of coming to terms with, and visualizing, a tumultuous world and ‘how we feel abt unsirtintee.’”
Canadian Literature

“an oddity even by bissett standards, not because of its content but because it purports to be a narrative … Loosely speaking, it’s the tale of two new lovers, ‘howard n brian,’ and the setting is domestic, but even so their encounters, dialogues, and interior monologues shine with the golden light of bissett’s illumination. Which, by the way, is capable of transforming even the most banal thought into poetry.”
– Georgia Straight



“These essays are rich with information about bissett, but most importantly they revive and re-examine significant moments from his life and career. It is a must-read for both bissett scholars and fanatics alike.” —Broken Pencil


ths is erth thees ar peopul

“His poetry addresses the limitless discussion of the boundaries between the personal and the political.”

— National Post


northern wild roses / deth interrupts th dansing

“[bissett’s] poetry addresses the limitless discussion of the boundaries between the personal and the political.”
National Post


narrativ enigma / rumours uv hurricane

Touches on the great themes of humanity…in bissett’s inimitable way.
Monday Magazine

bissett is one of the leading performance poets in Canada.
Flak Magazine


griddle talk

“Malyon’s curiosity is bottomless: Her imagination creates and recreates. She makes us believe that with the turn of her pen she can invite us in any direction.”
Ottawa Citizen

“[bill bissett] is the shaman of Canadian poetry.”
Georgia Straight

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