ECW Press, 2018

It is the Third Millennium. The 20th century is a memory. Humans no longer walk on the moon. Passenger planes no longer fly at supersonic speeds. Disinformation overwhelms the legitimate news. The signs of our civilization’s demise are all around us, but hope is not lost. In these poems, you will find a map through our dystopia and protection from all manner of monsters, both natural and human made. Only the products of our imaginations — buildings and movies, daydreams and wondrous machines — can show us how to transform our lives. Self-Defence for the Brave and Happy is a survival guide for the Dark Age that lies ahead.

ECW Press, 2014

Don’t Let It End Like This Tell Them I Said Something — Paul Vermeersch’s fifth collection of poetry — is, as its title suggests, a lyrical meditation on written language at the end of civilization. It combines centos, glosas, erasures, text collage, and other forms to imagine a post-apocalyptic literature built, or rebuilt, from the rubble of the texts that came before.

McClelland and Stewart, 2010
A finalist for the Trillium Book Award. 

Paul Vermeersch’s new poems give a present-day voice to primitive song, and restore to us a dawn-time severity that cuts through modern evasions. They go beyond sophistication to reveal the passionate and suffering animal within. The Reinvention of the Human Hand is a poetry of the human body’s experience, of a primal being that struggles to assert itself, or perhaps just survive, in a world of metals, plastics, electronics. Here is the most far-reaching work yet by the acclaimed author of BurnThe Fat Kid, and Between the Walls. Vermeersch has always gone in search of understanding. Now his discoveries speak of a human world exhausted by its divorce from an animal past, terrified of retreating into early places it never truly left, astonished by the forgotten possibilities disclosed there.

McClelland and Stewart, 2005

Paul Vermeersch examines the forces that divide us and isolate us as individuals in both the natural and man-made worlds, at the moments when those worlds intersect, and in the places where we live and work. During a violent row between teenage boys, a starling explodes like a hand grenade. A clutter of inbred cats plays out the rise and fall of mankind in a secluded country barn. While driving his girlfriend home, a young man is forced to alter the course of his future by the sudden appearance of a plague of toads. And in the harrowing final sequence, we are taken on a tour through a fragile city verging on its own ruin. As fantastic as they are visceral, these poems shed new light on our darkest corners and take us deep between the walls, those that are thrust up before us as well as those of our own making.

ECW Press, 2002

Poetry kills the beautiful people. The Fat Kid, Paul Vermeersch’s second full-length collection of poetry, chronicles a childhood troubled by obesity, poor body image, and low self-esteem. The media’s perfect faces, societal expectations, family concerns, and primitive socialization rituals collide with the already horrendous physical and emotional tribulations of adolescence to drive Calvin Little over the edge. He’ll stop at nothing to become beautiful and weightless, but he must conceal his battle with what the world has come to know as a girl’s disease. Is there redemption in social acceptance, in romantic love, in escaping gravity? Is it enough to learn to love yourself? Calvin’s journey is told in a sequence of poems steeped in both the physical and psychological worlds, in voices that range from the bawdy to the elegiac. In The Fat Kid Calvin Little becomes the ideal antihero — for a shallow culture obsessed with thin.

ECW Press, 2000
A finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award.

Accessible and finely honed, as obsessed with the possibility of words as with emotion, Paul Vermeersch’s poems engage and fire and etch their way in — way down deep. Burn mixes spit and sweat and flakes of lye to scar intricate and beautiful patterns in the shapes of animals, friends, family. In Burn, the dark moments of childhood contrast with the epiphanies and horrors which attend illness and death. Sex, too, insinuates and asserts itself. And after Vermeersch’s conflagration nothing remains untouched.


Harbour Publishing, 2009

A celebration of the most unlikely, outrageous and important gathering place in modern Canadian writing, with contributions from Dennis Lee, Eurithe Purdy, F.R. Scott, George Galt, Joe Rosenblatt, Margaret Atwood, George Bowering, D.G. Jones, Sid Marty, Steven Heighton, Howard White, David McFadden, David Helwig, Janet Lunn, Paul Vermeersch, Michael Ondaatje and others.

The I.V. Lounge Reader

Insomniac Press, 2001

Since May 1998 book lovers have gathered in a small, inconspicuous cafe across from the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto to hear some of Canada's best writers read from their latest works. From national award-winning poets such as Dennis Lee and David Donnell, to the leading writers of new fiction such as Lynn Crosbie and Derek McCormack, to first-time authors and local favourites, the I V Lounge Reading Series has provided an intimate space for members of the literary community to share their craft with the public. This anthology offers samples of the best and most memorable readings of the past two years, including fiction and poetry never before published. Each entry, selected by series founder Paul Vermeersch, captures the spirit of the I V Lounge Reading Series.


Includes all the poets from the 2013 Queensland Poetry Festival, including: Shane Rhodes, TT.O., Jacqueline Turner, Jon Paul Fiorentino, Sachiko Muarakami, Tao Lin, Paul Vermeersch, Anthony Lawrence, Felicity Plunkett, Ian McBriyde, Nathan Shepherdson, Siobhan Harvey, and many, many more.

"Featuring the finest contemporary poets from across Australia and around the world, Queensland Poetry Festival is a showcase of the very best in spoken word and sonic art. This anthology gathers together a selection of these diverse poetic voices, from household names to fresh new artists. An intimate collection of innovative and exciting poetry, sure to animate, delight, and inspire. The 2013 'spoken in one strange word' anthology is a limited edition print-run of only 100 copies, featuring poets from around Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the U.S

Exile Editions, 2009

Editor: Priscila Uppal  

A groundbreaking multilingual collection promoting a global poetic consciousness, this volume presents the works of 20 international poets, all in their original languages, alongside English translations by some of Canada's most esteemed poets. Providing an introductory statement about the translation process of each poem, translating poets include Canadians Ken Babstock, Dionne Brand, Nicole Brossard, Barry Callaghan, A. F. Moritz, and Paul Vermeersch, among others; while subjects include poems by Pablo Neruda, Horace, Ezra Pound, Herman de Coninck, Arthur Rimbaud, Alexander Pushkin, and Rainer Maria Rilke. Spanning several time periods and more than a dozen nations, this compendium paints a truly unique portrait of cultures, nationalities, and eras.

VERSschmuggel, ReVERSible, RéVERSible

Wunderhorn Verlag (Germany) and Éditions du Noroît (Canada), 2008

Edited by Aurélie Maurin and Thomas Wohlfahrt  

At the 2007 Berlin Poetry Festival, six Anglophone Canadian poets, six Francophone Canadian poets, and six German-speaking poets from around the world were matched up in a round-robin-style translation summit, and this anthology records the results. It also includes an audio CD of the readings from the festival event. I was matched up with the fabulous Marc André Brouillette from Quebec and Robert Schindel from Austria. The poets in this completely trilingual anthology include: Ken Babstock, Karen Solie, Paul Vermeersch, Erin Moure, Suzanne Buffam, Tim Lilburn, Claude Beausoleil, Denise Desautels, Stéphane Despatie, Hélène Dorion, Louise Dupré, Orsolya Kalász, Nico Bleutge, Sabine Scho, Lutz Seiler, and Jan Wagner.

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