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derek beaulieu

derek beaulieu is the author or editor of 15 books, the most recent of which are Please, No more poetry: the poetry of derek beaulieu (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2013) and kern (Les Figues Press, 2014)....


derek beaulieu

Visual Poetry | $17.00
ISBN 13: 978-1-934254-55-4
Size: 8″ x 8″
Pages: 96
Binding: Softcover, Perfect
Published: December 16, 2014


Proposed as a collection of imaginary logos for the corporate sponsors of Borges’ Library of Babel, Kern balances on a precipice between the visual and nonsensical, offering poems just out of meaning’s reach. Using dry-transfer lettering, derek beaulieu made these concrete pieces by hand, building the images gesturally in response to shapes and patterns in the letters themselves. This is poetry closer to architecture and design than confession, in which letters are released from their usual semantic duties as they slide into unexpected affinities and new patterns. Kern highlights the gaps inside what we see and what we know, filling the familiar with the singular and the just seen with the faintly remembered.

Praise for Kern:

“The detritus of signage is all around us. The poems in Derek Beaulieu’s riveting new collection begin by resembling the signs, logos & slogans of everyday life—and then become more & more unreadable. No two of these constellations are alike; each promises something it cannot quite fulfill, as readability, having failed, gives way to lookability. So suggestive are these images that we cannot stop looking, trying to decipher, to arrest the flow. Kern presents moments of poetic nostalgia for the signposts of a past that never fully existed.”

—Marjorie Perloff


“Kern tweaks the white space of the page, arranging language while unsettling letters. Machines made not of words, but characters, these poems crank and churn, antiquated material rattling to life beneath Beaulieu’s beau frottage. The eye scans the boggled mass, seeing patterns within the patter as words stutter and boil while D.B. minds our b’s and q’s, p’s and d’s.”

—Amaranth Borsuk


“Do letters have lives? We have to wonder, seduced as we are by the antics of these characters. The tradition of taking alphabetic forms & making them into suggestive glyphs has a complex history in the signs of masons, brands, trademarks, monograms & graphical poetics. In Beaulieu’s Kern the principle of enjambment is put to poetic purpose. Kern is a living demonstration that poetry is about unleashing the potential of combinatoric protocols to drive the performative art of letters on a page.”

—Johanna Drucker