Booked Writer’s Series is launching their third season on Sept. 18 with a talk with poet and writer Christian Bök.
Bök is launching his new book Xenotext, which is the first of a two-part project and scientific experiment. He’s been working on the project for a decade, and has gained a strong reputation in the literary world. One of his previous books Eunoia won the Griffin Prize for poetry and sold nearly 20,000 copies.
“He’s a world renowned poet. He’s called the father of conceptual poetry, so he’s credited with having started that whole brand of poetry that he does,” said Angie Abdou, program director of Booked.
Abdou is proud to have Bök launch this year’s Writer’s Series and he premiering his new book in Fernie before larger literary hubs, such as Toronto. The Quill and Quire, a Canadian literary magazine, has dubbed Bök the “mad scientist of Canadian Poetry” for his experimental work. Xenotext doubles as a scientific experiment as he is trying to create the first immortal poet.
“He’s trying to write a poem on a living genome, have a living genome recognize it and then reproduce and then it would continue to reproduce into infinity,” said Abdou. “So he’s been working with geneticists to make this happen. This is going to be a two-book project and this is the first book of that project.” Abdou hopes that Bök’s talk will appeal to people who enjoy science as well as people who are interested in books. “This time I think it’s interesting because this is an event that could appeal to scientist and poetry lovers,” she said.
The Booked series features between five to six talks from various writers and literary professionals.
“Usually we have fiction writers come and it’s great evenings. We’ll often have 100 people come and there is live music and there is wine and there is really stimulating conversation,” said Abdou.
The opening event features music from Wild Honey, along with refreshments and snacks. The event will be held at the Fernie Heritage Library and starts at 7 p.m. with Bök speaking around 8 p.m. All Booked series events are free and open to the public.