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Posted: Thursday August 12, 2010
Carl Peters

Carl Peters has published two previous literary analyses of poetics and avant-garde art. He edited a major collection of bp Nichol‘s comics from 1960 to 1980, published as bpNichol Comics (2002). textual vishyuns (2011), his critical study of bill bissett’s poetry and visual art, analyzes this Canadian poet’s contributions to modernist thought and vision. Peters is currently embarked on a study of modernist cinema, specifically the works and praxis of French New Wave film director Jean-Luc Godard.


January 2017 : This weekend: Carl Peters at the MLA Convention in Pennsylvania

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!

April 2016 : Annotating Gertrude Stein, a century later

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

June 2015 : Now Available! The Talonbooks Fall 2015 Catalogue

July 2014 : Our Fall 2014 Lineup!

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


Studies in Description

“You don’t read Gertrude Stein’s 1914 prose poem Tender Buttons casually – or you could try, but grow frustrated: The eye trips along the lines faster than the mind makes sense, and that’s on purpose. Tender Buttons isn’t nonsense, though it’s been called that by readers who haven’t the patience for its syntactic difficulty; Stein means to be difficult because she finds meaning there. Pause. Slow down. Look at the sentence the way you read a Picasso. How do you make sense of Picasso? That’s how you read Gertrude Stein. I crib these remarks from Carl Peters’s introduction to Studies in Description, his intense, personal study of meaning-finding in Stein’s work, though on reading Stein I speak from experience. Studies runs two texts in parallel: On the left page, Tender Buttons (the definitive, City Lights edition); on the right, Peters’s annotations. If you haven’t read the main text before, I recommend doing that first. But remember: Go slow.”
Globe & Mail

– George Bowering

“Carl Peters reinvents close reading as a form of dialogic commentary in this comprehensive critical study of the iconic work of radical modernist poetry, Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons. Studies in Description is the midrashic feast that Tender Buttons has always promised. Stein’s wordness has never been better served.”
– Charles Bernstein

“carl peters book on gertrude stein / is an essenshul n deep undrstanding / uv th work uv sumwun who displayd / n creatid enerjeez that shapd sew / manee langwage arts that undrstood / n went byond or outside uv th objek / tiv correlativ uv modernist writing 2 / convey manee othr equalee import / ant platforms n navigaysyuns uv all / th langwage arts without gertrude / stein sew much uv that xploraysyun / n presentaysyun enjoyment n alt / ternate serchimg showing n wisdom / cud not have ocurrd carl peters / shows all thees in an amayzing n / brillyant xaminaysyun n offring uv / what gertrude stein brout 2 sew / manee uv us 4 wch we ar sew grateful / showing langwage can b a way byond / n outside uv representaysyun words / being things in themselvs 2 enjoy / play thrive n reveer manee storees / manee meenings n byond meening / manee lettrs byond image lettring / manee sylabuls byond pointing n / describing manee voices manee / voyages manee sees / ium sew grateful 4 ths brillyant / work uv carl peters”
– bill bissett


textual vishyuns

"A much-needed study, by turns polemical and proselytizing. Peters’ book signifies a crucial starting point for investigation of bissett’s important contributions to Canadian literature."
—Canadian Literature

"Carl Peters has written—nay produced!—an astonishing book on how bill bissett thinks within his art. Here is a discovery of poetic space and time coming together, where we glean time and space entering into empathy with the object. Peters’ learned awareness of the image’s relationship to bissett’s surreal vulnerability to surface and depth reveals the graphic touch of the voice and hand, whether on paper or canvas. In Peters’ eye and mind images are touched by voice to the letters on the page. We glimpse through film shots Magritte and Malevich-views that illuminate the intimate in the eye and ear of the beholder. This is an aesthetic right at home in its sensual perception of the uncanniness of these times. textual vishyuns is not only a book on bill bissett, but also a way of bringing modernist thought and vision together without taking either apart." —Jerry Zaslove

"Carl Peters has pulled off a terrific critical irony for our neomodal time, the first scholarly study of bill bissett’s poems and pictures. His referentiality is wide and his blade is sharp. He is both argumentative and blissful. I’d say that bill is fortunate to have this knowledgeable attentiveness, and I’d guess that he would agree." —George Bowering


bpNichol Comics

Nichol engages in visual wordplay and defies the conventional restraints of space and structure in comic books.
National Post

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