Friday, 23 January 2015

Platform Reading Series: February 5th

I'll be reading with fellow faculty and students from the U of T's School of Continuing Studies in the Platform Reading Series on February 5th.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Chatting with Susan Gillis about my new book.

I recently had the opportunity to chat with the poet Susan Gillis briefly about my new book for her blog Concrete & River. Here's a sample of what we talked about:

SUSAN GILLIS: What brought you to poetry? Or, if you prefer, what brought poetry to you?  
PAUL VERMEERSCH: I think it starts with colouring books. I always hated colouring books. Blank paper was always better. When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was draw, to create my own images. Colouring books demanded orthodoxy, an adherence to a prescribed pattern and colour palette. But I wanted to play, to explore! When I got older I discovered that you can make art using language instead of crayons or paint. I tried writing songs. I tried writing stories. They didn't seem to fit, but eventually you just grow into things. I think I grew into poetry the same way I grew into my father's hand-me-down leather jacket. I started writing poems because they fit me best, and I discovered that I liked reading them best, too. All art forms are a kind of hand-me-down, I think. They come from the past. They are given to us, and they have traditions associated with them, but we have to decide what to do with them next.

Read the entire conversation here.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Postcards / Mail Art

Here's my new project for the new year. I'll be doing mail art. For ten bucks, I will send you an original hand-drawn postcard. See here for details. 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

What critics are saying about Don't Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something

"Vermeersch's writing is a fascinating example of what 21st century poetry could be, should be, or already is." 
-- CV2

"Demonstrating remarkable virtuosity and range, Vermeersch here assumes the mantle of the prophetic, post-apocalyptic poet, and the poems suitably offer a paradoxical mix of cynicism and hope." 
-- Jason Wiens, Quill & Quire

"Like Y2K survivalists and street corner preachers, Paul Vermeersch seems to insist the apocalypse has been upon us for a while, now... he brandishes a hallucinatory aesthetic, truly visionary, akin to controversial filmmaker Lars von Trier, and fashion wunderkind Alexander McQueen: morbid and glorious, extravagant, obscure, with an almost taxidermic fixation on the sublime and horrifying."
-- Diego Bรกez, Lemon Hound

"With the art references, architectural language, philosophical musings, literary hat tips, and found text, a multi-genre work like Don't Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something is a book I'm compelled to read with open window to Google... While the Academy led me to Atwood, Ondaatje, and Cohen, I'm happy to return--with a little context--to Vermeersch."
-- Domenica Martinello, The Town Crier

Monday, 1 December 2014

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Short Review in CV2

My latest book Don't Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something gets a short review in CV2 alongside Erina Harris's The Stag Head Spoke and Stevie Howell's [sharps], two of my favourite debut collections of 2014. Here's what CV2 has to say about my collection:

Vermeersch's writing is a fascinating example of what 21st century poetry could be, should be, or already is.

Read the rest here.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

I'm profiled at Open Book Toronto

Open Book Toronto asked me some questions about my poetry, and now my answers are up on their site. I talk about a manifesto I wrote when I was fourteen, what I do with failed poems, and my optimism about the state of the art form. Read it all here.