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Stephen Collis is the author of five books of poetry, including the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize winning On the Material (Talonbooks 2010) and three parts of the on-going “Barricades Project”: Anarchive (New Star 2005), The Commons (Talonbooks 2008), and the forthcoming To the Barricades (2013). An activist and social critic, his writing on the Occupy movement is collected in Dispatches from the Occupation (Talonbooks 2012).
Collis is also the author of two book-length studies, Phyllis Webb and the Common Good (Talonbooks 2007) and Through Words of Others: Susan Howe and Anarcho-Scholasticism (ELS Editions 2006), as well as the editor, with Graham Lyons, of Reading Duncan Reading: Robert Duncan and the Poetics of Derivation (Iowa University Press 2012). He teaches contemporary poetry and poetics at Simon Fraser University, where he was a 2011/12 Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellow.
October 2013 : Vancouver Writers Fest Begins Today!
October 2013 : Talon Authors Unite at WORD Vancouver
May 2013 : Stephen Collis on Co-op Radio
April 2013 : Monuments, Dog House, Otters!
March 2013 : Urban Change, Urban Unrest!
March 2013 : Wanda John-Kehewin and Friends on Tour!
November 2012 : Dispatches From Adbusters!
October 2012 : Karasick and Collis at Zinc Bar!
September 2012 : Fall into Surreal Instanter!
April 2012 : Poetry is Dead - Issue Five!
December 2011 : Talonbooks Presents Karl and Christy Siegler's Farewell Bash
September 2011 : 100 Thousand Poets for Change: Vancouver, BC
June 2011 : Bring it Home, Vancouver!
April 2011 : Weather-Permitting, Poetry is in Bloom in BC!
April 2011 : On the Material Wins 2011 BC Book Prize for Poetry!
April 2011 : BC Book Prizes Northern Leg 2011 Kicks Off Tonight!
January 2011 : North of Invention: A Canadian Poetry Festival
BOOK AWARDSOn the Material
Winner of the 2011 BC Book Prize: Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize”
QUOTES OF NOTETo the Barricades
“Barricades are a type of resistance and, depending on who’s throwing them up, an act of creativity as well as control. Collis uses brush-by, glint, examination-in-perspective, and roundabout reconnaissance to measure our times … Unafraid of the truth and unafraid to opine on the effect of truth, Collis has emerged as one of Canada’s finest writers. Like climate change and tar sands, like the decimation of honey bees with Neonicotinoid, like the essence of Edward Snowden’s revelations, we ignore Collis’s words at our own peril.” – ARC Poetry
“What is not a chronicle of scuffling feet over rebellious streets, what is not a meditation on spontaneous committee work, not a study of occupying civic spaces, not an expression of cascading revolutionary moments, what is the ‘not’ of all that, but that is still forged from all that? It is precisely this swirling charybdis of emotive power that To the Barricades ventures to traverse, harnessing the potential of collective transformation. Continuously in danger of being recouped and serialized by topic and theme, genre, and discourse, in the crosshairs of being literaturized, Collis keeps the forms of social address fluid, stealthy, street-smart, and on the run. Like Neruda’s Canto General, To the Barricades succeeds in marshalling forth ‘cities of words’ as yet un-citied. These lines are graffitiable.” – Rodrigo Toscano”
QUOTES OF NOTEDispatches from the Occupation
“English professor and Vancouver Occupier Stephen Collis offers up a unique and heartfelt window into the rise and fall – or more accurately, transformation – of the Occupy movement. […] This personal and locally grounded narrative is where the book makes real contribution. Other texts have emerged analyzing the global Occupy movement … but Collis’s level of involvement and embeddedness in Vancouver makes for a unique journey for the reader, as does its rather lyrical style. As such, I can see students of social movements and politics, as well as those interested in activism more generally, finding much to metabolize and debate within its pages.”
– Canadian Literature
QUOTES OF NOTEOn the Material
“Collis’s poetry draws a direct line from Pablo Neruda and Nicanor Parra….[He] is a force, a vector in modern Canadian Poetry. He writes in front of opinion, but never too far in front to lose engagement…. Words like beauty, pleasure, and liberty do not sound hackneyed. Instead, their writing sounds synonymous with persistence.”
— Prairie Fire
QUOTES OF NOTEThe Commons
"Words like beauty, pleasure, and liberty do not sound hackneyed. Instead, their writing sounds synonymous with persistence. Collis is slightly off-step/beat, just out of range of any comfortable assumption, and a good shuffle away from clear understanding. This is not poetry that leads, but includes. It is a welcome philosophical divergence in popular culture." — Prairie Fire Review of Books”
QUOTES OF NOTEPhyllis Webb and the Common Good
“Collis is himself a poet and falls into that Canadian tradition of talented creative writers – Atwood, Lee, Ondaatje – that also write some of our finest criticism.”
— Vallum Magazine
“As much about Webb as about the cultural and political milieu of her time, this book is necessary reading for anyone interested in Canadian poetry and the ethics of writing as criticism.”
— Smaro Kamboureli
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program; and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.