bill bissett, winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and the Milton Acorn People’s Poetry Award first garnered international attention in the 1960s as a pre-eminent figure of the counter-culture movement in Canada and the UK. Author of over 70 books of published poetry, bill is a pioneer of sound, visual and performance poetry—eschewing the artificial hierarchies of meaning and the privileging of things (“proper” nouns) over actions imposed on language by capital letters; the metric limitations imposed on the possibilities of expression by punctuation; and the illusion of formal transparency imposed on the written word by standard (rather than phonetic) spelling. bill composes his poems as scripts for pure performance and has consistently worked to extend the boundaries of language and visual image, honing a synthesis of the two in the medium of concrete poetry. He writes and paints out of studios in Vancouver and Toronto.
Festivals: 2003, 2007 (spring), 2009 (spring)