the poetry that matters

David UU - Special Feature

David UU, or David W. Harris (1948-1994), is considered an accomplished concrete and experimental poet and an important small press publisher. Along with bill bissett and bpNichol, he was a pioneer of the concrete poetry movement in Canada, and perhaps the first Canadian poet to explore visual collage embodying literary, philosophical and language references. He also composed sound works (both musical & textual), made 8mm short films, was a master collagist/montagist and performed in numerous performance art exhibitions.

He was a prolific publisher and encouraged the talents of many Canadian writers early in their careers. He founded and operated Fleye Press (1966-70), Divine Order of the Lodge (1971-1975), Derwyddon Press (1976-81), Silver Birch Press (1987-94) as well as several magazines and numerous imprints for pamphlets, broadsides, postcards and other ephemera. He co-founded grOnk, a seminal Canadian experimental poetry magazine, in 1967 with bpNichol and others.

David W. Harris was born on June 13, 1948, in Barrie, Ontario. The family moved to Collingwood in 1958, where he lived until setting out for Toronto in 1966. He left Toronto for Vancouver in 1968 and over the next decade relocated between Ontario and the west coast several times. He adopted the pseudonym David UU around 1970. In 1980 he settled in NorthVancouver where he lived until finally moving to a farmhouse near Delhi, Ont. in 1992 where he died in May, 1994.

19 October 1989

And I should mention to you that my last name is...just UU, the original form of the English letter W, which is also how it's pronounced.

Best Wishes,

David UU - The (Imp)ulse Poems

The work reproduced here appeared in the Toronto arts magazine (Imp)ulse Volume 3, Numbers 3 & 4 (1974), edited by Eldon Garnet, and subsequently published in book form as the anthology W)here? The Other Canadian Poetry (Press Porcepic 1974).

The poems were first published in air 4 (Vancouver: Air Press, 1971); Before the Golden Dawn (Toronto: Weed/Flower Press, 1971); Motion/Pictures (Toronto: Ganglia Press, 1969); Pamplemousse (Vancouver: Blewointmentpress, 1969); Touch (Toronto: Ganglia, 1967).

Other poets in the (Imp)ulse collection were: Joe Rosenblatt, bpNichol, Daphne Marlatt, Gerry Gilbert, Maxine Gadd, David Dawson, Frank Davey, David Cull, Judith Copithorne, Victor Coleman, bill bisset, and Nelson Ball.

more David UU poetry:

Excerpts from Chopped Liver (1981) can be read at Light and Dust Poets/Kaldron On-Line

18 March 1993 

One doesn't have many choices in life except in how one is going to accept one's lot. For me that comes down to whether or not one develops a sense of Justice. Life for me has always been very painful, but I don't see that as an excuse to dump my pain on to someone else. (And there you have it, the meaning of life from David UU.)

Fond Best Wishes,

David UU: a memoir & album by Gregg Simpson

"I do have a need to believe in something, to find exits of excellence and humanity in a world enthralled by mediocrity and ideology."

- David UU

David UU: memorials & testimonials

Note: memorials & testimonials is a continuing work in progress and is open to submissions - the booklet will be expanded and revised as additional material is received. Anyone who knew or was influenced by David UU is invited to submit.

a correspondence with M.A.C. Farrant

Three by M.A.C. Farrant

"Three - Memorial to David UU" by M.A.C. Farrant was originally to be published as The Berkeley Horse #55, October 1994; subsequently released May 1995 by fingerprinting inkoperated. Ivory paper covers, black text on cream laid bond, 8 pages, saddle stiched, 4 1/8w x 5 3/8h, 100 copies.

This is the manuscript discussed in the correspondence between David UU and M.A.C. Farrant, reproduced here in a facsimile edition.

20 November 1991 

I am glad to see you are doing what a writer should do and that is remain open to and search out new possibilities. It all contributes to the body of work to the body that works. And I don’t think I need to give you the lecture about the need to struggle, ‘life is strife’ as Stein says (final aria of Mother of Us All).

                                                                                                       - David UU

a correspondence with B. Dedora

David UU Bibliography


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