Friday 29 March 2024

Talking about the Griffins with Elamin Abdelmahmoud on CBC's Commotion

Last week I had the opportunity to talk about the exclusion of Canadian poetry books from the Griffin Poetry Prize on a podcast hosted by Elamin Abdelmahmoud for CBC's Commotion. 

You can listen to the conversation we had here.


The podcast is also available on Spotify

Sunday 25 February 2024

My first TV credit as a composer!

The Rogers TV program produced by the Kawartha Land Trust is using my song "Field 4B" from my album wererabbit iv as the intro and outro of their "Celebrating Black Excellence In Conservation" episode! 

Thanks to Dani Couture for setting this up!

Friday 17 November 2023

wererabbit iv now available!

 “In the tradition of fourth albums like...

Led Zeppelin IV

Foreigner 4

Toto IV

BeyoncĂ© 4, etc. 

comes an all new album called...

wererabbit iv

The fourth album by wererabbit. Available now. Only on Bandcamp!”

Saturday 14 October 2023

Cloud Errors: Paintings and artist statement

Cloud Errors is being shown at WEP Central, 3 Bartlett Avenue in Toronto, from October 11 to October 28, 2023. 

Drop-in hours to see the paintings:

Thu. Oct. 19: noon - 2pm. 
Sat. Oct.  21: noon - 2pm. 
Thu. Oct. 26: noon - 2pm.
Sat. Oct 28: noon - 2pm. 

Or contact me to make an appointment

36” x 36”, acrylic on canvas, 2023.

36 ”x 36”, acrylic on canvas, 2023.

24” x 24”, acrylic on canvas, 2023.

24” x 24”, acrylic on canvas, 2023.

24” x 24”, acrylic on canvas, 2023.

24” x 24”, acrylic on canvas, 2023.

24” x 24”, acrylic on canvas, 2023.

12” x 12”, acrylic and graphite on canvas, 2023.


Human beings are pattern-making animals precisely because we are pattern-seeking animals. Our inherent desire to recognize and synthesize patterns is the basis of all our culture. We recognize patterns in audible frequencies as music. We recognize patterns in visual frequencies as art and design. We recognize patterns in written and spoken language as poetry and story-telling, as incantation and myth-making. 


But there’s a catch. Not only do humans instinctively seek and make patterns, but we also grow bored with them. In the presence of too much repetition, with too much regularity, we extrapolate too readily an unvaried, infinite whole—an endless field of identical green dots, for example—and, sensing no further surprise or additional information is forthcoming, we lose interest. That’s why it is necessary, from time to time, to interrupt the repetition, to subvert the pattern, to inject the unexpected, and balance orderly arrangements of forms with agents of chaos, either strategically chosen or random and serendipitous, allowing for an element of surprise now and then. 


Nature is inherently chaotic. The challenge of the landscape painting or photograph is one of framing and composition. Framing is an imposition of order. Traditionally, this was accomplished with the edge of the canvas, or the crop of the photograph. Increasingly, however, our world is framed by digital technology. 


My recent paintings are concerned with how nature, or our capacity to perceive nature, is increasingly mediated by technology. Clouds are essentially organic and constantly evolving forms. In Cloud Errors, the naturally amorphous and chaotic shapes of clouds are interrupted by “unrepeating patterns” of pixelations that represent digital display errors. My selection of square canvases might be a vestige of seeing the world through Instagram. The combination of these choices might appear to be accidentally beautiful, but the glitching pixelations are  emblematic of our growing disconnect with the natural world. 

I am further interested in the “repetition” of these pixelations as a kind of asemic writing. It’s important that the arrangement of these pixelations appears irregular but purposeful, like the words you are reading now. This way, they may appear to have their own grammar, their own purposefulness, in their arrangement, but this is the result solely of our pattern-seeking minds. In these paintings, I am more interested in deploying the semblance of syntax, the appearance of meaning, than with any actual syntax or meaning. The appearance of patterns here is the result of our inborn desire to experience them, to perceive order in the chaos, to perceive meaning in the disarray—in fact, to impose it—to remake the world with our minds. 

Paul Vermeersch

October, 2023


Tuesday 3 October 2023

Cloud Errors: New paintings showing at the West End Phoenix

I'll be showing some new paintings for most of October at the West End Phoenix offices at 3 Bartlett Street in Toronto. The opening reception is Wednesday, October 11 from 7-9pm. Please drop by if you're in the area! 

Click here for details

Wednesday 23 August 2023

Reading at Kingston Writersfest on September 30, 2023

I'll be reading at Kingston Writersfest on September 30, 2023. Here are the details:  

Kingston Writersfest: late nights with kwf: hives of activity
Jason Heroux, Stuart Ross, Paul Vermeersch Reading and Conversation
Curate.Social | 9:00 – 10:00 pm

Enjoy a nightcap and savour our Strange Salon - a selection of weird and wonderful readings from a singular group of Canadian authors who are not afraid to push the literary envelope to tickle your aural fancies. Get ready for alternate futures, the dawn of civilisations, all-knowing potatoes, loss, grief, and centipedes.

Including special readings from a Poetry In Voice performer.

Details here

Thursday 10 August 2023

Reading in Picton, Ontario, on August 17

Next week I'll be reading in Picton with Armand Garnet Ruffo and Catherine Graham at Lily's Cafe (next to Books and Company). The event will be hosted by Leigh Nash, and there will be an open mic. Come on out if you're in the neighbourhood! 


Sunday 28 May 2023

Reading in Chicago at Bookends & Beginnings (Evanston), June 24th

Chicago-area friends, I'll be in your neck of the woods June 24th, and I'll be reading at the fabulous Bookends & Beginnings in Evanston. This is THE store leading a class-action lawsuit against Amazon on behalf of independent booksellers everywhere, so I'm proud to read in their space. 

I will be joined by RHINO editors Meghan Malachi and Elizabeth O'Connell-Thompson. 

Meghan Malachi is a Black Puerto Rican poet from the South Bronx, first-place winner of the Spoon River Poetry Review 2022 Editor's Prize Contest and a 2022 Pushcart Prize Nominee. Her work is published or forthcoming in Milly Magazine, Rabid Oak, NECTAR Poetry, Pages Penned in Pandemic, giallo lit, and Writers With Attitude. Her first chapbook, The Autodidact, was published by Ethel Zine and Micro Press. 

Elizabeth O’Connell-Thompson is the author of the chapbook Honorable Mention (dancing girl press, 2017), and holds an MA in English Studies from Trinity College Dublin. Her work has been published in Banshee, Entropy, Iron Horse Literary Review, and Poetry Ireland Review, among others. She cohosts the RHINO Reads series with Naoko Fujimoto.

I hope to see you there!