The Alphabet Game

Front Cover
Coach House Books, 2007 - Poetry - 334 pages

A member of the sound-poetry collective, The Four Horsemen, winner of a Governor General's Award for Poetry and writer of Fraggle Rock, bpNichol was one of Canada's most important poets.

All of Nichol's writing is distinguished by his desire to create texts that are engaging in themselves as well as in context, and to use indirect structural and textual devices to carry meaning. The astounding range of Nichol's practice included musical theatre, children's books, comic book art and collage/assemblage. Broadly spanning the history of Nichol's work, The Alphabet Game: A bpNichol Reader includes both classics and esoteric treasures. From the early typewriter poetry of Konfessions of an Elizabethan Fan Dancer and Nichol's life-long work of poetry The Martyrology, to the heartbreaking prose of Journal and the whimsical autobiography of Selected Organs, this collection maps the literary career of this enigmatic poet.

For first-time readers of Nichol, this comprehensive collection is a perfect introduction to his groundbreaking work; for loyal Nichol fans, this reader is the the long-awaited compilation of his less readily available work.

'His wit, along with the seriousness, was there to keep the language free and untethered, to keep the poem aware of its roots, like a tuxedo wornwith bare feet in a muddy river ... No other writer of our time and place was so diverse, attempted so much, and never lost sight of his intent.' - Michael Ondaatje

 

What people are saying - Write a review

The Alphabet Game: A bpNichol Reader

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This beautifully produced volume fills a large gap in 20th century North American poetry, selecting from the great long works of a master of profound whimsy, and also including arresting examples from ... Read full review

Contents

to the memory of Hugo Ball 1968
19
An Evening of Concrete 1970
25
the aleph beth book 1971
34
Aleph Unit Opened
43
Journeying the Returns 1967
130
The Other Side of the Room 1971
143
Extreme Positions 1981
158
Two Novels 1971
170
Journal 1978
200
A Wedding 1978
219
Parts of an Autobiography 1988
226
a book of remembrances 1974
238
a book of mysteries and translations 1985
280
a book of contexts 1990
291
epiprologue
313
Copyright

stories texts 1g661g76 1978
186

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

bpNichol was the author of numerous books of poetry, including In England Now That Spring (co-authored with Steve McCaffery), Truth: A Book of Fictions and nine volumes of The Martyrology, as well as four novels, several books for children and one collection of short fiction. A founding member of the sound poetry quartet The Four Horsemen, Nichol was recognized internationally as one of the major avant-gardewriters of his time. Besides his small press and magazine editorial activities (including Ganglia, grOnk and Underwhich Editions), he was a great collaborator with many artists in the areas of writing, sound poetry performance, and linguistic research.

Lori Emerson is Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow at The Georgia Institute of Technology's School of Literature, Communication, and Culture. Her writing has appeared in many journals, including Postmodern Culture and Essays on Canadian Writing. Emerson has guest-edited a special double issue on bpNichol for Open Letter: A Canadian Journal of Writing and Theory, and she has made available many of Nichol's sound poems and performances through her creation of an online audio archive for the University of Pennsylvania's PennSound project.

Darren Wershler-Henry is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. His most recent books are apostrophe (with Bill Kennedy) and The Iron Whim: A Fragmented History of Typewriting.

Bibliographic information