BookThug Panel: bpNichel panel including Stephen Cain, Lola Tostevin, Brian Dedora, moderated by Gregory Betts

bpNichol (1944-1988) has attained iconic status in Canadian literature in recent years, particularly through his lifelong poem The Martyrology and his work in visual and sound poetry. Numerous early “fugitive” sequences of Nichol’s are often referred to in critical studies, but are long out of print and only available in library special collections or in the hands of rare book collectors. bp: beginnings brings together his pre-Martyrology materials in one comprehensive collection, including such key texts as Nichol’s first chapbooks Beach Head and Cycles Etc., the minimal lyric sequences of The Other Side of the Room and The Journeying and the Returns, and various concrete and sound-texts such as Lament, The Year of the Frog and Ballads of the Restless Are. These collected sequences show Nichol developing his talents in both visual poetry and lyricism, pointing the way towards the union of the two forms in the later Martyrology. Combined with The Captain Poetry Poems (published by BookThug in 2011), bp: beginnings now makes all of Nichol’s major poetry sequences available to both the avid Nichol specialists and to aficionados of innovative poetry everywhere.