Thursday 24 December 2015

My Mail Art Project is One Year Old Today

It was a year ago today that I announced my mail art project: I will send original, hand drawn postcards to you for ten dollars each. My postcards have become more detailed and complex over the past year, but the price is still just ten bucks. Here are some samples:

To see all the post cards and to learn more about the project, click here.

Thursday 17 December 2015

Russell Smith writes about my Sunrise with Sea Monsters blog

Novelist and columnist Russell Smith has written about my Sunrise with Sea Monsters blog in his arts column in the Globe and Mail. Have a look:

A blog is a hobby; a blog is a notebook; a blog is a forum; a blog is a piece of art. A blog is unpaid, and so can rewrite our idea of what a journal is, what publication is. It reminds us that, in the age of culturecrat jargon such as “viability” and “private-public partnerships,” we can give away art entirely for free and that art can infiltrate a larger culture and therefore be worth something all on its own.
Here’s a blog I like: It’s called “Sunrise With Sea Monsters,” and it’s a project of the Canadian poet and editor Paul Vermeersch (who is also a colleague of mine in the small-press publishing trenches). It is a poetry journal: He asks poets to contribute poems whose only constraint is that they be titled Sunrise With Sea Monsters. This is the name of a rather odd 1845 painting by J.M.W. Turner, currently on display as part of a Turner show at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
To read the whole column, click here.

Monday 7 December 2015

A new poetry blog: Sunrise with Sea Monsters

From 2010 to 2014, I curated a poetry blog called They Will Take My Island. The sole premise was that I would invite people to write a poem called "They Will Take My Island", a title taken from a painting by Arshile Gorky.

Click here to visit They Will Take My Island

My latest online project is similar, and draws its inspiration from J.M.W. Turner's painting "Sunrise with Sea Monsters", and so far contains poems by Gary Barwin, Sylvia Legris, Pearl Pirie, Michael Holmes, and James Lindsay. More to come!

Click here to visit Sunrise with Sea Monsters

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Monday 30 November 2015

20% Off in my Etsy Store until this Friday

Hey, it's Cyber Monday! I'm having a 20% sale on my Etsy store (not including postcards or books) from now until Friday. Just enter the coupon code LASERSALE20

Monday 9 November 2015

Dennis Lee launches new edition of Riffs on Nov. 19th

I was honoured to be asked to write the introduction for the new edition of Dennis Lee's Riffs that is part of the Brick Books Classics series celebrating the 40th anniversary of one Canada's most venerated poetry publishers.

The launch for the new edition will take place at the Monarch Tavern in Toronto on November 19, 2015. The event will start at 7:30 and will feature a reading by Dennis Lee, after which I will interview the author and take questions from the audience. I hope to see you all there!

Thursday 17 September 2015

When religious people come knocking at your door, do not turn them away! Consider it a business opportunity.

You don't have to be rude to religious proselytizers who come to your home to share their beliefs with you. You can invite them in, just charge them for your time. I've decided to charge $500 an hour, and I've drafted a written agreement for just such an occasion. As a public service, I'll include it below as a downloadable PDF, but here's just a taste.

Now they can try to save your soul, and you can put some money away for a rainy day. It's win-win! You can get the full document here.

Saturday 12 September 2015

High-quality prints from my mail art project are now available, made to order.

I'm now offering prints of any of the hand-drawn postcards I've made for my mail art project. 

High quality digital prints can be made to order for any of the images from my mail art project. The prints are 13" by 19" (with a white border), printed on heavy-duty archival paper, and signed. The cost is $70 (CAD) per print, plus shipping, and they can take a few weeks to arrive. Please send a query to if interested. 

Here are a few recent examples from the series:

Careful Whispers

Plague Doctor with Talk Balloon
The Shootout!

For a full library* of images from my mail art project, click here

*New images are being added all the time, so visit regularly.  

Monday 17 August 2015

100th Postcard!

Last December, I started a mail art project where I make, and mail, hand-drawn postcards. They are available through my website for $10 each. Today, I am mailing out my 100th card, called "Rocketship 1956". This card is a homage to both the popular fiction and the midcentury modern design style of the 1950s.

For more information about my mail art project, click here

Wednesday 12 August 2015

My summer residency at the National Water Centre

This summer I was an artist in residence at the National Water Centre, where I was working on my next book. Mike Forestell of the Waterkeepers organization dropped by the centre to interview me, and this profile is the result. Thank you, Mike.

Connected to societal collapse and the disintegration of language, Paul sees a growing abstraction from nature. Having spent equal portions of his childhood outdoors and in front of the TV, he surmises: “Nature is very popular—in the media. Everyone like pictures of nature. But you put those same people in [nature] and they shrink from it….My nature comes to me served up by Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom or David Attenborough, and it’s entirely educational, but it’s also sanitized”.

Read the entire profile here.

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Jacqueline Valencia reviews Don't Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something

Thanks to poet Jacqueline Valencia for this review on Goodreads of my latest book Don't Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something (ECW Press, 2014).

Postmodernism finds poetry continually cycling through arguments of the lyrical versus the conceptual. Therefore, it’s refreshing to see a poet dare to play amongst the mudslinging.   
Paul Vermeersch’s latest poetry collection Don’t Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something, is an ode to language left after the end of civilization. Scouring the poetic landscape with various prose harvesting methods such as cut-ups, centos and erasures, Vermeersch collects work and molds it into new structures. He does this on the conceptual setting of future decay. Through that world Vermeersch renders the words anew and reveals the inherent experimental nature of poetry.

Read the whole review here.

Order the book here.

Tuesday 7 July 2015

Updated Visual Art Section

I've updated the visual art section of my website with larger images, updated price and availability information, and paintings and drawings in one easy to browse section. Check it out here.

Monday 1 June 2015

Wolfe Island Literary Festival -- June 6, 2015

I'll be taking part in the annual Wolfe Island Literary Festival on Saturday, June 6th. 
It runs from 3pm to 6pm on Brophy's Point, Wolfe Island (near Kingston). Remember to check ferry times in advance.
Hosted by Mark Medley. With readings from: Michael Crummey, Helen Guri, Paul Vermeersch, Dani Couture, Bernie Finklestein and Darryl Webster.
Programmed by Dave Bidini and Mark Mattson.
** This is a free event. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. **
Thank you to the sponsors: Donald Bayne, Mark Ertel, Hal Mattson, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, and Windmills.

RSVP on Facebook

Monday 4 May 2015

Art Show: No Ceremony

Banner designed by Kimikimo. 

No Ceremony was a group show featuring work by TalwstJustin PeroffKimikimoHieram Weintraub, and myself. Held at Milk Glass Gallery, 1247 Dundas Street West in Toronto, it was original scheduled from April 30 to May 3, 2015, but was extended to May 4.

Below are the works I exhibited in the show. If interested, please send inquiries to

Defence Research Board, printed polyester curtain, 69" x 70". 

Invasion, oil on canvas, 24" x 26"

Self-Defence for the Brave and Happy, oil on canvas, 24" x 30"

Self-Defence for the Brave and Happy, printed polyester blanket, 50" x 60"

Two Laser Guns (Hair Dryer), oil on canvas, 18" x 24"

Two Laser Guns (Hose Nozzle), oil on canvas, 18" x 24" 

Sea Monkeys, framed, ink on paper, 19" x 24"

Les Desmoiselles de Mystery Machine, framed, ink on paper, 14" x 17"

SOLD -- New 100% Robot Pants, oil on canvas, 6" x 12" 

SOLD -- Scientific Optical Principle Really Works, oil on canvas, 6" x 12" 

Alien Phrenology Bust, oil on canvas, 11" x 14"

Schtroumpf Cubiste, framed, ink on paper, 11" x 14"

SOLD -- Godzilla, framed, ink on paper, 14" x 17"

Poster designed by Kimikimo. 

Saturday 11 April 2015

Rob Taylor of PRISM International interviews me about Don't Let It End Like This...

PRISM's poetry editor Rob Taylor recently interviewed me about my new book. Here's a bit from Taylor's introduction:

Goodness, it’s quite a book. Apocalyptic in its concerns, Don’t Let It End…gets at its big questions through poems written within various formal restraints (glosas, erasure poems, found poems, and more). 
The biggest of its questions, though, seems to originate outside the book itself. In the Ted Hughes poem “Gog“, which inspires the opening section of Don’t Let It End…, the speaker asks, “What was my error?” Vermeersch’s book takes off from that moment, that question: the error committed, the apocalypse upon us (or, at least, inevitable). Throughout Don’t Let It End…we are always looking back, probing, searching, for the root cause of the mistake. 
The answer seems to come a few lines later in “Gog”:“I do not look at the rocks and trees, I am frightened of what they see” 
The error was made because we were too afraid to look at the world, and at what we were doing. But now, Vermeersch insists, he will look, and we are invited to look with him. To sift through the rubble and see the error that was there all along.
Read the entire interview here

Wednesday 1 April 2015

No Ceremony: An Art Show

I'll be included in a group art show at Milk Glass Gallery opening April 30th and running until May 3rd. It's a short run, so mark your calendars. I'm joining artists Kimikimo, Justin Peroff, Talwst, and Hieram in this show, for an eclectic, energetic, non-themed exhibition.

Music for the opening night will be courtesy of Brendan Canning.

RSVP via Facebook.

Monday 2 March 2015

Readings in March

I have three readings this month, with appearances in Kingston, Toronto, and Ottawa. Details below: 

MARCH 17, 2015 
1pm - 2:30pm
Watson Hall 517, 49 Bader Lane

MARCH 22, 2015

260 Ryding Avenue, Toronto
I'll be reading with novelist Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer. Details here

MARCH 29, 2015


Pressed Cafe, 750 Gladstone Street 
I'll be reading with Dennis Cooley, Frances Itani, and Steven Artelle. Details here.

Saturday 28 February 2015

Jonathan Ball reviews Don't Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something for the Winnipeg Free Press

Thanks to Jonathan Ball for this thoughtful take on my latest book.  

"The true test of poems like these, many of which are composed by erasing or composting other poems, is whether or not the trace of the originals is lost and their text reclaimed in some way that feels both original and inevitable. At their best, Vermeersch's lines reach out like a reckoning storm.

Read the entire piece here.

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.