bpNichol’s The Martyrology is one of the most outrageous, challenging, intriguing and accomplished long poems written in Canada. No other poem of its length has raised the major concerns of our time with such urgency and brilliance. Initially recognized by only a few, this luminous continuing work has attracted more and more readers with the appearance of each successive volume—Book 6 the most recent, with more books in process.
Tracing the Paths gathers contributions by a wide spectrum of readers who approach The Martyrology from both diverse and complementary critical paths. Interleaving the collection are comments by bpNichol, and the collection ends with a rich sampling of the next three books of this amazing unfolding work. There is also an introduction by editor Roy Miki, a bibliography of The Martyrology, reproductions of some manuscripts and text by bpNichol, and a chronology of personal and compositional events relevant to The Martyrology.
Tracing the Paths brings together the poet bpNichol and his readers in a collaborate form that is rare—if not unique—in Canadian criticism.