Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


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If all of us were to collectively wish bill bissett a happy birthday, we might put some air in his balloon.

bill, one of our most beloved poets, has been so inimitably himself for such a long time, we assume he is ageless. Nevertheless, he has had a hard year healthwise.

I propose we all celebrate his birthday by going out and buying his books, or better still his very affordable metaphysical paintings.

bissett is one of a handful of self-sufficient Canadian artists, who lives on readings, royalties and the sale (often fire sales) of his art.

The People's Poet has never been the darling of critics and jury members, who, as often as not, patronise his idiosynchratic spelling and punctuation; few of them realising that sentences without periods and nouns without consonants run without interruption into the river of real being. In his life and art, bill has been and will always be the one in the many, the light that reflects in water.

This quintessential Sixties poet is timeless because our philosopher fool uses intellectual rigour and good humour to uphold the integrity of the Golden Rule.

bill has kept Canadian poetry honest for almost fifty years. He is the one we look to for the songs of innocence that hold back the voices of cynicism.

His elixir is love.

Good health to you, bill, lightning and magic rainbows.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Related item from our archives

Linda Rogers

Linda Rogers is the author of the novels Say My Name (Ekstasis Editions, 2000), Friday Water (Cormorant Books, 2003) and The Empress Letters (Cormorant Books, 2007). She has also published several collections of poetry, including Love in the Rainforest (Exile Editions, 1996), Heaven Cake (Sono Nis Press, 1997), The Saning (Sono Nis Press, 1999) and The Bursting Test (Guernica Editions, 2002).

Go to Linda Rogers’s Author Page