Poetry dead?

Daniel Zomparelli breathes new life to an important but somewhat maligned genre with 'Poetry Is Dead.' Issue Two launch party Oct 1!

Credit: Tina Kulic

“Just because poetry isn’t mainstream doesn’t mean it’s dead…”


Daniel Zomparelli is a most unassuming man, which gives his wit and innovation the impact of a one-two punch. Zomparelli is the creator and editor of Poetry Is Dead, a semi-annual publication devoted to showcasing contemporary poetry in Western Canada.


Poetry Is Dead



Issue Two launch party

Friday, October 1, 2010, 8 p.m.

206b Carrall St, Vancouver


“I’m not trying to make poetry popular again but to stop it from being framed as nature focused, super old-lady writing,” says Zomparelli. “Apparently that’s the only thing people think that poetry is, especially in Canada.”


After purchasing the domain www.poetryisdead.ca with no particular intention, the whim naturally evolved into a magazine. Since studying literature and publishing at SFU, Zomparelli has been working for publications such as Megaphone and Geist. It is only recently that his focus has shifted to poetry, only to find that resources for poets in British Columbia are scarce.


“I think we tend to get underrated as poets in Vancouver and the West Coast. The central core of things is in Toronto; there’s so much more funding that it gets more coverage.”


Even at a national level, Zomparelli could not connect with the sombre tone and institutional ties of Canada’s poetry publications.


“One of the problems I had with a lot of Canadian poetry magazines is that they just didn’t fit the style that I liked,” he says. “The writing was too serious for me.”


All of this has led Zomparelli to create his own magazine—one that he really likes.


Poetry Is Dead is a refreshing mixture of quirky and powerful works that quash poetry’s inaccessible and elitist reputation. It is a beautifully designed package that holds appeal for both the fanatics and the reluctant.


“People think the name is ironic but it’s actually a playful response to people who say poetry is dead. The phrase is randomly thrown out a lot but it makes no sense because there are so many poets and so many people writing poetry and so many poetry books. Just because it’s not mainstream doesn’t mean it’s dead.”


Issue Two of Poetry Is Dead launches Friday, October 1, 2010, with a launch party at 206b Carrall St at 8 p.m. The theme is “TV, Beer, and Video Games.” Visit the Facebook page for details and to RSVP.


Sad Mag on Granville mag

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Rebecca Slaven for Sad Mag

Rebecca Slaven was born in Yellowknife but enjoys civilization and so she now calls Vancouver home. Currently she is finishing up her masters in library studies at UBC, and catalogueing the world’s largest collection of croquet images. In her spare time, she likes biking, snacking and playing her accordion.

Tina Krueger Kulic for Sad Mag

Tina Krueger Kulic is a Vancouver photographer who loves to capture people in their element. She is fascinated by Vancouver’s many personalities and appreciates it for all of its quirks. You can see more of her work at www.tkphoto.ca.