Gil McElroy | Sum: Word Maps

ISBN 978-1-926889-28-3

5.5×8.5, 32pp, /80, $10.00

Purchase book here.

Originally published in Grain 11.4 (November 1983) and exhibited as part of the exhibition “Visual and Written Languages in Dialogue” at the A.K.A. Gallery in Saskatoon the same year, Gil McElroy’s Sum: Word Maps marks and extends the poet, curator and critic’s longstanding interest in the intersection of visual art and poetry. Published here as a standalone book for the first time, Sum: Word Maps includes the original 1983 introduction to the project, as well as a new afterword originally published in 2016, and traces the long gestation of the work. It is a “revisiting of work done over thirty years ago, a tying up of loose ends.” As McElroy writes in his afterword, “words can – and are – bent by the world. Words should – and do – bend the world.”

Poetry (October 2017)



February 9, 2018: Sacha Archer: “[…] the soft noise of the light grey alphabet grids which appear on each page, the black of the letters scattered throughout the grids drew me in. Without having any inkling what was happening within the pages of the book, the only slightly varied (at first glance) visual information was already being processed, my imagination filling in (reflex) what might be occurring on the pages.”

5 December 2017: rob mclennan: “[…] blends the language grids of, say, Wilfred Watson, with the sensibilities of Steve McCaffery.”

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