The Bad Sequence
Originally performed at The SpeakEasy Series of Informal Talks in Toronto in March of 2004, this text pokes fun at itself while asking a few pertinent questions about that very Canadian poetic tradition: The Long Poem. As a jury member for the Governor General’s Award for poetry who had the opportunity to survey the publications submitted in that genre in a given year, and as a poet operating exclusively in the realm of the long, sequential poem, Phil Hall ironically critiques a few things typically Canadian about poetry, including himself.
Phil Hall’s first book, Eighteen Poems, was published in Mexico City in 1973. Since then he has published three chapbooks, a cassette of labour songs, and eight books of poetry. Among these titles are A Minor Operation, Why I Haven’t Written, Old Enemy Juice, The Unsaid, Trouble Sleeping, and Heartherald: A Folk Hermetic. He works as an editor and teacher and lives in Toronto.