Poet doesn’t just mouth the words

The king of counterculture, Canadian poet bill bissett, is in Kelowna and Vernon next week.

Canadian performance poet bill bissett reads from his new novel-poem

Canadian performance poet bill bissett reads from his new novel-poem

The king of counterculture, Canadian poet  bill bissett, is in the Okanagan next week.

The lower case-named poet and cultural icon is bringing his high-energy personality and eclectic performance style as part of this year’s UBC Okanagan Visiting Authors series.

While here, he will also be part of the Vertigo Voices reading series in Vernon, which is being hosted by Gallery Vertigo and Okanagan College.

In his long career, bissett has flipped the written word on its head.

With more than 70 books of poetry published, he eschews artificial hierarchies of meaning and interpretation, foregoing proper nouns, punctuation and proper spelling to boldly forge new paths of language and understanding.

Famous and celebrated since the 1960s for pushing the boundaries of language and representation in the creation of image as a site of content and context, bissett is also one of the world’s leading sound, visual, concrete and performance poets.

Audiences can expect the unexpected as bissett often uses chanting and singing to create his literary feast of sound.

Among bissett’s many awards are The George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award (2007); and the BC Book Prizes Dorothy Livesay Prize for peter among th towring boxes / text bites (2003) and inkorrect thots (1993).

His most recent work is hungree throat, his second novel-poem, published by Talon Books.

Bissett appears at the Okanagan Public Library, 1380 Ellis St., Kelowna, Monday at 7 p.m.

His reading at Gallery Vertigo, #1-3001-31st St. is Tuesday at 7:30 pm. Doors open at 7 p.m. Admission is by donation.