Poetry. In Bett's new book, TRACK THIS, we see a surprising, but highly engaging shift in sensibility. TRACK THIS is a risk-taking, stunningly beautiful book of poems that "tracks" an evolving love relationship. The poet employs his considerable technical skill to steer well free of clichéd, lyric sentiment by making use of Louis Zukofsky's still relevant, but rarely achieved dictum "upper register: music." The language of these minimalist, short-line poems truly "sings" as the poems move and turn on the page. This is a poet who inherits the mantle from Creeley, Dorn, et al., but whose voice and ear for language are entirely his own. An utterly unique and gifted voice, intelligently hip, making postmodern language reach toward music.
author siteOrchid Tierney @ REM MagazineMarc Schuster @ Small Press Reviews
Stephen Bett is a widely and internationally published Canadian poet. His earlier work is known for its sassy, edgy, hip... caustic wit—indeed, for the askance look of the serious satirist... skewering what he calls the vapid monoculture' of our times. His more recent books have been called an incredible accomplishment for their authentic minimalist subtlety. Many are tightly sequenced book-length 'serial' poems, which allow for a rich echoing of cadence and image, building a wonderfully subtle, nuanced music. Bett follows in the avant tradition of Don Allen's New American Poets. Hence the mandate for Simon Fraser University's Contemporary Literature Collection to purchase and archive his "personal papers" for scholarly use. He is recently retired after a 31-year teaching career largely at Langara College in Vancouver, and now lives with his wife Katie in Victoria, BC.Author City: Vancouver, BC CAN