White Noise alchemy: poetry for the next millennium. In a world where the poet is a filter, a cultural recombinator, Torontology sifts through the blur of data and stimulus to find the gold in the dross. From OuLiPo to Vispo to post-LANGpo, Stephen Cain explores the poetics of constraint and the practice of unconstrained writing. In Torontology, Grendel meets Beowulf on the College streetcar, Eliot interrogates Atom Egoyan’s Prison Tattoos while enjoying Vacillation in a Blanket, and Guided by Voices is both a brilliant band and an oblique love poem. For Cain, Sir Thomas Browne is on equal footing with James Brown. That pop song buzzing through your head? The TV show that’s become a guilty pleasure? That flock of pre-teens behind you on the subway? They’re all as ?real” and poetic as classical tropes, archetypes, and forms. Torontology: a philosophy of Being in the ?centre of the universe”? Or merely the urban landscape at the turn of the 21st century? Either way, in Cain’s terms, context is always as important as content, and the quotidian is more expansive than you’ve ever imagined.
Stephen Cain is the author of dyslexicon (Coach House, 1999) as well as numerous chapbooks and broadsides. His sound poetry can be heard on Carnivocal (Red Deer, 1999) and his visual poetry has appeared in such magazines as Rampike, Torque, and Essex. He operates the micropress Kitsch in Ink and is a literary editor at the Queen Street Quarterly. Born in 1970, Stephen Cain lives and teaches in Toronto, where he is completing a PhD in English Literature at York University.