Process poetics is about radical poetry - poetry that challenges dominant world views, values, and aesthetic practices with its use of unconventional punctuation, interrupted syntax, variable subject positions, repetition, fragmentation, and disjunction. To trace the aesthetically and politically radical poetries in English Canada since the 1960s, Pauline Butling and Susan Rudy begin with the "upstart" poets published in Vancouver's TISH: A Poetry Newsletter, and follow the trajectory of process poetics in its national and international manifestations through the 1980s and '90s. The poetics explored include the works of Nicole Brossard, Daphne Marlatt, B P Nichol, George Bowering, Jeff Derksen, Clare Harris, Erin Moure, and Lisa Roberston. They also look at books by older authors published after 1979, including Robin Blaser, Robert Kroetsch, and Fred Wah. A historiography of the radical poets, and a roster of the little magazines, small press publishers, literary festivals and other such sites that have sustained poetic experimentation, provide context.
Pauline Butling, professor emerita at the Alberta College of Art & Design, is the author of Seeing in the Dark: The Poetry of Phyllis Webb (WLU Press, 1997). Susan Rudy is Professor and Chair of the Department of English at the University of Calgary. She is author of Women, Reading, Kroetsch: Telling the Difference, as well as several nationally distributed articles and reviews.