MCPHERSON ECKHOFF, kevin




Author Tags: Poetry

One of the most puzzling and original books of any year, kevin mcpherson eckhoff’s Rhapsodomancy (Coach House 2010) is illustrative writing and symbology inspired by, and representative of, Sir Isaac Pitman’s invention of shorthand in 1837 and the forty-character phonetic alphabet called Unifon that was invented by John Malone in the 1950s. These two phonetic systems provide the images, along with some line drawings, that almost incomprehensively “tease out a relationship between voice and words and visual poetry” as he convivially explores the spaces between voice and writing through visual poetry.

The playfully uncapitalized mcperhson eckhoff studied English literature at the University of Calgary and was living in Armstrong, B.C., "with some dogs and a lady," and teaching at Okanagan College, when Rhapsodomancy and easy peasy were published. The latter has been described as a "new, sort-of visual poetry collection... Part instruction manual for the comfortably literate, part picture book for the uncommitted spectator, these poems insist upon the simple beautiful error of words and the imaginative potential of miscommunion!"

His Game Show Reversed (BookThug) was honourably mentioned by the 2011 bpNichol Chapbook Award. His work has been featured in Boredom Fighters (Tightrope) and Rogue Stimulus (Mansfield), as well as several international journals, including Descant, West Wind Review, Fact*Simile, Rampike, and offerta speciale, as well as dANDelion.

In 2013 mcpherson eckhoff took over the editorship of Kalamalka Press, based out of Vernon, and published Forge.

Following in the same illustrative writing vein as Rhapsodomancy and easy peasy, mcperhson eckhoff's Their Biography: an organism of relationships (BookThug 2015) is the author's experiment with illustrative writing about himself but also indirectly about identity, relationships and language. This literary collage weaves together written sketches of those close to mcperhson eckhoff, as well as those not so close (adversaries). In its totality, it is a portrait of people connected to people.

BOOKS:

Rhapsodomancy (Coach House 2010) 78-1-55245-231-8 $16.95

easy peasy (Snare Books, 2011) 9780986576539 $12 | 88 pages

Forge (Halifax: Invisible Publishing / Snare Books 2013) $14.95 9781926743332

Their Biography: an organism of relationships (BookThug 2015) $20 978-1-771660945

[BCBW 2015]