I have several DerekBeaulieubooks on my poetry shelves; his work fascinates and intrigues me, but I still don’t feel I know how to read them (or perhaps the term is process them). Concrete poetry is an established genre and I am happy to putBeaulieu into that lineage, I’m also happy with poetry that uses the visual as a guiding or organizing principle, and poetry that doesn’t prioritise content or narrative or epiphany.
Yet, Beaulieu’s poems are beyond that. Often constructed from Letraset rub-down lettering, they are visual patterns and constructs, sometimes in sequences, sometimes seemingly treated even more (or made differently):“Calcite Gours 1-19”, published and given away by rob mclennan back in 2004, and my introduction to Beaulieu’s work, contains a ‘suite of poems’ which are circular-ish explosions of ink, reminiscent of star clusters. They are as seductive and engaging as the night sky, too.
That book is…
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