Brick Books Celebration of Canadian Poetry piece on Conceptual Writing and Rachel Zolf posted today

Howdy folks,

Anyone interested in conceptual writing or the work of Rachel Zolf (and especially her new book, Janey’s Arcadia) might be interested in reading my contribution to Brick Books’ Celebration of Canadian Poetry, which was posted online earlier today. The piece is several months in the making: a while back, Brick Books’ wonderful general manager Kitty Lewis asked if I would be interested in writing about Canadian conceptual writing for the series; having just familiarized myself with Zolf’s body of work, I took up the offer gleefully. At the same time, I really felt that I couldn’t do justice to conceptual writing and its circle of practitioners and techniques without addressing the controversy raised around the genre earlier this year. I’ve heard a lot of strong positions (both offensive and defensive) on conceptual writing articulated over the past few months, both in my local environment and on a larger scale; ultimately, I hope that my small contribution to the discourse might begin to do justice to the political and ethical stakes of poetry (conceptual or otherwise) without drawing the conclusion of outright condemnation. In any case, you can read my piece for yourself here.

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