Poet, novelist, essayist, and oral sound artist, Paul Dutton has been pushing the boundaries of literary expression for more than 40 years, in books, recordings, and live performances, solo and collaborative, in print and film, on TV, radio, and the Web. He has performed in literary and musical contexts throughout Canada and across the USA, Europe, and South America. Dutton's artistic focus continues to be the exploration of consciousness and perception through the creation of multisensory works, employing written poetry and prose, visual poetry, and the sonic dimensions of language and oral expression.
Dutton began publishing in Canadian literary magazines in 1965, and in 1970 joined fellow poets Rafael Barreto-Rivera, Steve McCaffery, and the late bpNichol to form The Four Horsemen, ubu.com/sound/four_horsemen.html, a group that revolutionized poetry readings, introducing elements of sound poetry, theatre, and music within the context of highly energized performances. The group issued records and books, and travelled extensively across Canada and into the USA and Europe, until the untimely death of Nichol in 1988. The group's ensemble and solo works were newly treated and interpreted in the 2007 play The Four Horsemen Project, which won awards in Toronto and toured in Canada and Europe.
A primary international exponent of sound poetry, Dutton has also maintained an output of writing for the page, accumulating credits in a multitude of literary magazines and journals, and publishing books of poetry and fiction. His essays have appeared in Canadian literary and scholarly publications, and his poems continue to be included in anthologies in Canada, the USA, and the UK.
In 1989, Dutton joined forces with the free-improvisation band CCMC, streamlined since 1993 to a trio, comprising Dutton, Michael Snow (piano and synthesizer), and John Oswald (alto sax). Other collaborations have included the sound-voice group Five Men Singing and the poetry-music group Quintette à Bras.
Books by Paul Dutton include: the poetry collections Right Hemisphere, Left Ear (Coach House Press, 1979); Aurealities (Coach House Books, 1991; on the Web at archives.chbooks.com/online_books/aurealities/); Visionary Portraits (Mercury Press, 1991); and Partial Additives (Underwhich Editions, 1994); and the novel Several Women Dancing (Mercury Press, 2002).
He also has two solo CDs, Mouth Pieces (OHM Editions, 2000) ubu.com/sound/dutton.html; and Oralizations(Ambiances Magnétiques, 2005), and his collaborative work can be heard on the CD Five Men Singing (Victo, 2004) and the CCMC CD Accomplices (Victo, 1998).