Derek Beaulieu delivers his talk, Making Nothing from Nothing.
Derek Beaulieu is the author / editor of 18 collections of poetry, prose and criticism including two volumes of his selected work Please No More Poetry: the poetry of derek beaulieu (2013) and Konzeptuelle Arbeiten (2017). His most recent volume of fiction, A, A Novel was published by Paris’s Jean Boîte Editions. Beaulieu has exhibited his visual work across Canada, the United States and Europe and has won multiple awards for his teaching and dedication to students. Derek Beaulieu was the 2014–2016 Poet Laureate of Calgary, Canada.
With a, A Novel, Derek Beaulieu erases the vast majority of Andy Warhol’s infamous 1968 novel. Leaving only punctuation marks and onomatopoeia, Beaulieu’s wreckage is a found symphony, a score for New York. With all dialogue removed, Warhol’s novel echoes John Cage’s 4'33" (1952). Cage’s score, while popularly known as a “silent” piece of music, actually allows the ambient noise of performance halls – the shuffling and creaking, the coughing and sniffling – to become the focus on attuned listening by the gathered audience. The pages of Beaulieu’s a, A Novel may look hollow, but they include the background noise of traffic and overheard conversations, radios and music from passing cars and open windows, each part of a portrait of New York City’s clamor. a, A Novel builds upon Beaulieu’s previous visual novels, each one a visual record a reading; a new writing which uses graphic marks and detritus to explore the edges of the novelistic, leaving gesture and scansion, white space and colour to build narratives.