Permissions: TISH Poetics 1963 Thereafter—



TISH Poetics 1963 Thereafter—

by Fred Wah


  • June 2014
  • ISBN: 978-1-55380-329-4
  • ebook ISBN: 978-1-55380-331-7
  • PDF ISBN:978-1-55380-330-0
  • 5 3/4″ x 9″ Trade Paperback, 32 pp
  • Critical Essay

The year 2013 being the fiftieth anniversary of the Vancouver Poetry Conference at UBC, Wah uses the occasion to outline how a group of young poets at UBC (and this included George Bowering, Jamie Read, and himself among others) were discovering, through their publication of poetry in the newsletter TISH, that it was possible to write in new forms. The 1963 Vancouver Poetry Conference brought home to them that they had “permission” to shatter the poem’s strict line patterns. Wah notes that there was never a TISH manifesto but that the conference confirmed the group’s sense that the 1960s would bring into being a new kind of poetry, that he now had permission to “disturb the words,” as in jazz, to play around with the music, to move into a poetry beyond the restrictions and weight of tradition and authority. It was also, according to Wah, to be a turn away from the stubborn persistence of the lyric “I,” what Charles Olson in “Projective Verse” called “the private-soul-at-any-public-wall.” In reflecting on the arc of his own publishing career, Wah notes that a new importance was given to place, but place was not seen as static, for poetry now could be used as a “tool” in a larger investigation of “process” in the creation of the individual within time and place. Wah also realized that he continued to want a sense of collectivity, and he went on to create and publish a number of small literary magazines. In his more recent writing there has been a new fusion of identity with the concept of process along with race, and the resulting concept of hybridity.