Writer, editor, musician, artist. bill bissett was born William Frederick Bissett on November 23, 1939 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. A pioneer of sound, visual, and performance poetry, bissett was an important figure of West Coast counterculture during the 1960s. He is known for using a unique orthography that eschews punctuation and capitalization and utilizes phonetic spelling as strategies of contestation against normative subject positions. He attended Dalhousie University (1956) and the University of British Columbia (1963-1965), but dropped out of both institutions, seeking to engage life freely and directly, unencumbered by academic constraints. bissett moved to Vancouver in 1958. He launched blewointment magazine in 1963, which would become blewointment press a year later. blewointment press published volumes by Steve McCaffery, Maxine Gadd, bpNichol, and D.A. Levy.
bissett’s first volume of poetry, we sleep inside each othr all, was published in 1965. bissett’s visual art has also been included in several solo and group exhibitions, such as fires in th tempul : bill bissett (1984), and Rezoning collage and assemblage: bill bissett / George Herms / Jess / Al Neil (1989). bissett has also made sound/musical recordings, both alone (e.g. skars on th seehorse, 1999) and with the band the Luddites (e.g. Luddites, 1987). bissett moved to Ontario in 1985 and was Writer-in-Residence at the University of Western Ontario. He currently shuttles between Vancouver and Toronto, having studios in both cities.
Additional information and materials about bill bisset are available on request in Art, Architecture and Planning at the University of British Columbia Library. http://www.library.ubc.ca/finearts/
Discrete project sites documenting the work of specific artists and collectives in detail.
Essays and conversation providing a context for exploring the Project Sites and Archives.
Video interviews conducted between December 2008 and May 2009 reflecting on Vancouver’s art scene in the sixties.