BARBOUR, Douglas




Author Tags: Poetry

"'How people come to possess their own imaginations.' That seems to me to be what Tish was all about." -- Warren Tallman, 1985

Initially the Alberta-based literary academic Douglas Barbour was invited by the editor of West Coast Review, Harvey De Roo, to consider making a special issue of West Coast Review dedicated to the current activities of writers who were initially connected to the Tish poetry newsletter that emerged from the University of British Columbia as of September, 1961. After West Coast Review merged with another literary periodical called Line, becoming West Coast Line, that post-Tish initiative was reactivated under the editorship of Roy Miki of Simon Fraser University. As a result, Douglas Barbour is credited as the editor of Beyond Tish (NeWest Press, 1991), co-published with West Coast Line. This book was published 30 years after TISH was named as a playful recombination of the letters that comprise the word shit. The first issue appeared approximately two months after some lectures in Vancouver by poet Robert Duncan in the summer of 1961. In Beyond Tish, professor Warren Tallman recalls Tish wound down its most active phase in the summer of 1963, giving rise to a similar collective literary undertaking called Open Letter, edited by Frank Davey as of 1966. Beyond Tish contains 26 varied contributions, including new writing, interviews and essays. It also provides a rare, concise summary by Roy Miki as to who managed the unwieldy Tish periodical during its 45 issues until its demise in the Summer of Love in 1969.

"In its initial phase, from September 1961 to March 1963, it was run by an editorial collective consisting of Frank Davey, George Bowering, Fred Wah, David Dawson, Jamie Reid, the group of young writers gravitating towards UBC prof Warren Tallman, then a recent arrival from the U.S. The home of Warren and Ellen Tallman became a circle within which the Vancouver writers were to meet the American writers Robert Duncan, Charles Olson, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley, Michael McClure, Jack Spicer, et al... Nineteen monthly issues were published, until the summer of 1963 when the collective dispersed. Davey, Bowering and Wah left Vancouver, and David Dawson remained as editor for five issues, published between August 1963 and June 1964. Lionel Kearns and Gladys Hindmarch were never officially acknowledged as members of the collective but they were certainly vital members of the working group.

"Dan McLeod (who would later begin the Georgia Straight) took over as editor for the second phase of Tish which included writers Peter Auxier, David Cull, Daphne Marlatt, Sam Perry, Gladys Hindmarch, Bobby Hogg. From issue 41 on, for five issues, the mag entered its third and final phase, ending in 1969 with 44 and 45, issued jokingly as D and E, signs that it had run its course. Soon after, Stan Persky and Dennis Wheeler, with the support of McLeod, began the Writing series, published as a supplement to the Georgia Straight. This tabloid mag, also known as the Georgia Straight Writing Supplement, soon refocussed the poetic activities of the city--at which point Tish (as such) entered the gone world of literary history."

Georgia Straight Writing Supplements, in turn, served as the genesis for New Star Books, a publishing imprint originally associated with Lanny Beckman and Stan Persky.

[See Warren Tallman entry.]

PARTIAL BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Land Fall. Delta Books, 1971; Ottawa : Golden Dog Press, 1973.
A Poem as Long as the Highway. Kingston : Quarry Press, 1971.
White. Fredericton, NB : Fiddlehead Poetry Books, 1972.
songbook. Vancouver : Talonbooks, 1973.
He. & She. Ottawa : Golden Dog Press, 1974.
Visions of My Grandfather. Ottawa : Golden Dog Press, 1977.
Shore Lines. Winnipeg : Turnstone Press, 1979.
Vision/Sounding. The League of Canadian Poets, 1980.
With Stephen Scobie. The Pirates of Pen's Chance: Homolinguistic Translations.
Toronto : Coach House Press, 1981.
The Harbingers. Quarry Press, 1984.
Visible Visions: The Selected Poems of Douglas Barbour. Kamboureli, Smaro and
Robert Kroetsch (eds). Edmonton : NeWest Press, 1984.
Story for a Saskatchewan Night. Red Deer, Alta. : Red Deer College Press,
1990.

[BCBW 2003]


[BCBW 2003] "Poetry"