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Skidmark Calligraphy

Skidmark Calligraphy

Arthur Bull has selected the best of his published poetry and has added new works to show his engagement with the world, great minds, and important causes over the past thirty years.

   He writes, "For some poets, making a selection like this is apparently a very difficult task, but that has not been the case for me: I simply chose the ones I like. This is a bit like having a favourite mutt that could never get a ribbon in a dog show, and probably means that some good poems have been left out because I never really warmed to them. I suppose it also means that the book itself is a kind of expressive poetic work, taken as a whole. Or that is my defence, anyway."

  • Book details

    ISBN 978-1-990187-86-5

    5x8 inch paperback, 186 pages

  • Reviews

    These poems document Arthur Bull's life of making music and poetry in many ways, from many vantage points. There are sonnets in this book, as well as innovative poems Bull calls "scores", brief poems posing as instructions for making or discovering music in apparently infinite ways. There are poems written from the vantage point of a canoeist, or of a pilgrim to a Buddhist sacred mountain in China, or of schoolchild trying to make sense of what he is being taught in school. This is a body of work about wonderment.

    Guy Ewing, author of Hearing, and answering with music, Earth Becoming Sky, and wind.

    Division Street delivers an achingly bittersweet verse-memoir that canvasses his boy-to-teen experiences in 19502 early 1960s small town Ontario rich with whimsy, wit, irony, and biting critique.

    George Elliott Clarke, 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate, Former Poet Laureate of Toronto

    Division Street vibrates with the energy of immanent change, right down to the title.

    David Neil Lee, author of The Midnight Games and Commander Zero

    Our world, like each of these poems, is both a musical score and performance, our daily lives the possibility of sound, of improvisation, In this beautiful, surprising an ultimately profound collection, Arthur Bull encourages us to listen and make music with both the human and natural environment. To discover the essential music inside all things.

    Gary Barwin, author of Yiddish for Pirates (on Fifty Scores)

    There is so much of the aural in our daily lives. We are enriched by noticing the detail. Here is our instruction manual.

    Nelson Ball, author of Walking (on Fifty Scores)


    Bull's mantra, meditation and musings all poetic feels exactly like that of his long-departed Chinese partners in crime. Except they contain some of the scraps of flotsam and jetsam of our so called modern world. Bull does capture, very succinctly, our slow march against time and circumstance. It's all done carefully as mice and with admirable brevity.

    Michael Dennis, author of This Day Full of Promise (on Blue Mat)

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