bill bissett

bill bissett (1939- ), poet, painter, and musician, was born in Halifax and educated at Dalhousie University (1956) and the University of British Columbia (1963-5), from both of which he dropped out to pursue higher freedom and genuine artistic expression. bissett joined the downtown poetry scene in Vancouver and launched the blew ointment magazine in 1963, during which time he was beginning to have concrete poetry and more conventional lyric poems published. His first two books, we sleep inside each other all and fires in th tempul OR th jinx ship nd othr trips, were published in 1966. Since then, he has produced over sixty books, some of which were issued under the imprint of his blewointment press (1967-1983), and his work has appeared in numerous anthologies. bissett’s selected publications include: Poems for Yoshi (1977), sailor (1978), Selected Poems: Beyond Even Faithful Legends (1980), nothern birds in color (1981), seagull on yonge street (1983), canada gees mate for life (1985), The Last Blewointment Anthology (1985), Animal Uproar (1987), What We Have (1988), hard 2 beleev (1990), inkorrect thots (1992, winner of Dorothy Livesay BC Book Award Poetry), the last photo uv th human soul (1993), th influenza uv logik (1995), loving without being vulnerabul (1997), scars on th seehors (1999), and his latest book, b leev abul char ak trs (2000). bissett has also had several solo art exhibits in Vancouver, Toronto, London (Ont.), Kingston (Ont.), and Richmond (Ont.), and has issued audio recordings including Luddites (1988), Shing spirit (1989), and Luddites dreemin uv th nite (1991).

The fonds consists of: manuscripts (1962-1996) of poetry by bissett in holograph and typescript, most of which are dated, some with corrections in pen or pencil, some include graphics in the margins; correspondence (1948-1996) between bissett and his friends, bookstores, publishers, and art galleries, including Margaret Atwood, Earle Birney, George Bowering, B.P. Nicol, P.K. Page, Al Purdy, James Reaney, Books in Canada, Bantam Books, Coach House Press, McClelland & Stewart and others; papers (1967-1994) including poetry from other Canadian writers submitted to the blewointment press and poetry-related clippings, magazines, and journals; 50 photographs (1962-1992) of bissett, his works, and other people; sound recordings (1967-1992) of bissett’s poetry readings, his musical activities with the Luddites, radio interviews with him, tape recordings of soundscapes; and bissett’s personal memorabilia.

Finding aid available.

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Inventory number: F0266