BANFF – Derek Beaulieu, the former poet laureate of Calgary from 2014-16, has been named the new director of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity literary arts program.
Beaulieu, who started the position on Monday
(Oct. 15), is thrilled to be joining the centre’s programming, and believes that the Banff Centre is one of the premiere institutions in the world in regards to literary arts.
“I’ve known that whole time that the Banff Centre is an incredible beehive of activity,” said Beaulieu. “It’s a space that’s recognized all around the world as being one of the premiere centres for the literary arts and it’s an incredible honour to be able to join that conversation.”
Beaulieu is not currently looking to implement any changes to the programming offered at the Banff Centre. Instead he is looking forward to helping the Banff Centre increase the inclusivity and worldwide appeal of its already comprehensive programs.
“I think that continuing to make sure that the programming is inclusive and is across genres, so we’re looking at fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, and all sorts of areas, that we try to increase partnerships around the world and we look at people of all sorts are welcome and encouraged in the centre,” he said.
Beaulieu is an accomplished poet himself, with his own work often foraying into experimental wordsmithing that looks to deconstruct language before putting it back together. Part of his philosophy about writing is that artists should release their work for free and watch the transformations it takes on its journey through the global community.
“What I hope that the wider audience and the community starts to see is that literature is not created in a vacuum. The cliché is that it’s the author in their garret frowning over a steaming hot piece of paper as they’re trying to come up with this pretty beautiful moment. But what I would like to see is us understand literature as part of a larger conversation around art. Literature is part of the conversation that includes performance, and dance and visual art and all of the other art forms. It doesn’t get created in isolation.”
“I think that all work, all writing, all literature is created in dialogue with what has come before. In conversation with our peers, and in conversation with the history of writing. And yeah, my work looks non-traditional, my personal work, is responding back to a long tradition.”
To see more of Beaulieu’s work online, it can be found on his Wordpress blog