His work has also appeared in Geist, Rue Morgue, CNQ, Open Letter, Broken Pencil, Kotaku, and Quill & Quire.
Today in London, Ontario, Mr. Dickson co-owns & -operates an antiquarian bookstore, Brown & Dickson, with his partner, Vanessa Brown.
Images of Canadian postcards on which the narrative is handprinted convey the text of The Hunt (BookThug, 2006) with black-and-white photographs apposing. The lines, therefore, enjamb at point of restriction, rather than what we might otherwise think of as intention. Additionally, some postcards bear crossed-out, ostensibly miswritten words.
Offer a thought or two, if you will, about the book’s form. Why postcards? Why were ‘mistakes’ printed? Why appose the text with photographs? How do these choices reflect your area of expertise, Canadian literature?
The postcards were a happy accident. The story was displayed at a London Ontario art exhibition (curated by Kirtley Jarvis) and I needed a way to exhibit the story sections in a gallery. I was working at a used bookshop at the time and Kirtley came in to talk about the show. We were brainstorming ways to mount the sections. I was at the front counter which had the postcard section behind it at the time and we were both like, "Of course!" and went from there.
I purchased 100 postcards and went to work. They were all from Canada, of course. And I planned right from the beginning to keep my handwritten mistakes. I loathe perfection and that was part of it. But also I think it just makes things a little more creepy, off-centre. Lovely accidents happened again when Jay (at Bookthug) started to lay out the book. At one point we even considered a perforated book where you could remove the postcards and arrange them yourself.
The postcards lock the story in Time. But because they were historically also meant to be sent in the mail (and some do have postmarks) they also become ephemeral. This conflict was very important to me. I was deep into London Regionalism at the time and wanted a way to exhibit both timelessness and locality. The postcards added that final layer of substance. ....................................................