Lenore Herb in front of a Bill Bissett painting.

EATa IV | Poets & Poetry From the Lenore Herb Archive

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

FOND | Lenore Herb Archive | Poetry

In the fourth edition of our EATa (Evening at the Archive) series, we draw on a rare video collection from the Lenore Herb Archive tracing Herb’s involvement with the Vancouver’s poetry scenes and literary communities.

Herb’s  dedication to documenting poetry readings and gatherings happening in the city over the years provides us with invaluable research material that dates back to 1979, the year of a seminal poetry conference called Writing in Our Time, organized by UBC poetry professor Warren Tallman. We will be featuring rare videos of this conference by Lenore Herb along with video documentation of paintings by and interviews with Lenore’s friend and legendary poet bill bissett, and a selection of Doreen Gray’s little known writings and video poems.

Lenore Herb (1947-2010) AKA Doreen Gray, was an artist, activist and provocateur in Vancouver’s art and environmentalist communities. She was a videographer, photographer, writer, curator, arts administrator, social and environmental activist, and an archivist (notably for bill bissett). Lenore was directly involved with blewointmentpress (1960s +), Pacific Cinema (1970s-1980s) and Metro Media (1979-1985), as well as a participant in the Sound Gallery and Trips Festival, the Floating Free School, and Knowplace Free School.

The Lenore Herb Archive found its permanent home in the Crista Dahl Media Library and Archive at   VIVO in 2014, thanks to Saphira Coutts and Taliesin Foley-Herb. It includes over 400 videotapes (including Herb’s recordings of Vancouver’s punk and poetry scenes); photographic materials; original writing and art; Metro Media’s mail and Xerox art collections; posters from Metro Media and punk concerts (1970s-1980s); The Push Society (c1983) and Metro Media (1979-1985) organization files; Lenore’s personal print archive that includes environmental, poetry, art and miscellaneous counter-culture publications.

EATa IV took place in our newly renovated Studio space at 2625 Kaslo Street. Unlike previous EATa’s this one was weighted heavily towards media.

Event Schedule
6:30 pm Reception & Video Screenings
7:30 pm Artisan Dinner by HandTaste Ferments
8:30 pm Readings by bill bissett & Maxine Gadd

Artists In Attendance

bill bissett: Poet, painter and musician; founder, blewointmentpress; George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award, Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.
Pauline Butling: Writer. Books include Seeing in the Dark: the Poetry of Phyllis Webb and Writing in Our Time: Canada’s Radical Poetries (with Susan Rudy)
Peg Campbell: Award-winning film/videomaker; VIVO alumni; educator most recently at Emily Carr;  videographer, Writing In Our Time.
Maxine Gadd: Poet; books include Westerns (Air Press), hochelaga (blewointment press0, and Fire in the Cove (mother tongue Press).
Fred Wah: Poet & writer of critical prose; founder, TISH; Stephanson Award for Poetry for “So Far”, Gabrielle Roy Prize for Canadian Literary Criticism for Faking It

FOOD | Chef In Residence Todd Graham of HandTaste Ferments

Professional brewer, former member of Victoria punk bands Lost Cause, Outright and Grasp, and artisan chef, Todd Graham, is known for his extraordinary secret suppers featuring fermented foods with his company, HandTaste Ferments. We were thrilled  he joined us, creating a truly original feast for our guests.


Curators | Elisa Ferrari and Karen Knights
Archivist | Crista Dahl
Archive Assistants |
Venue Manager | Brit Bachmann
Technicians | Elisa Ferrari (digitization & event tech), Nicolai Gauer  (event setup)
Photo Documentation | Brit Bachmann | Elisa Ferrari | Shazia Hafiz Ramji
Invitation Design: Elisa Ferrari
Event Support | 2016 Archive Committee


League of Canadian Poets


Access to the Lenore Herb Archive is by appointment. Contact library(a)vivomediaarts.com

Venue Accessibility

VIVO is located in the homelands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples in a warehouse space at 2625 Kaslo Street south of East Broadway at the end of E 10th. Transit line 9 stops at Kaslo Street on Broadway. From the bus stop, the path is paved, curbless, and on a slight decline. The closest skytrain station is Renfrew Station, which is three blocks south-east of VIVO and has an elevator. From there, the path is paved, curbless, and on a slight incline. There is parking available at VIVO, including wheelchair access parking. There is a bike rack at the entrance. The front entrance leads indoors to a set of 7 stairs to the lobby.

Wheelchair/Walker Access

A wheelchair ramp is located at the west side of the main entrance. The ramp has two runs: the first run is 20 feet long, and the second run is 26 feet. The ramp is 60 inches wide. The slope is 1:12. The ramp itself is concrete and has handrails on both sides. There is an outward swinging door (34 inch width) at the top of the ramp leading to a vestibule. A second outward swinging door (33 inch width) opens into the exhibition space. Buzzers and intercoms are located at both doors to notify staff during regular office hours or events to unlock the doors. Once unlocked, visitors can use automatic operators to open the doors.


There are two all-gender washrooms. One has a stall and is not wheelchair accessible. The other is a single room with a urinal and is wheelchair accessible: the door is 33 inches wide and inward swinging, without automation. The toilet has 11 inch clearance on the left side and a handrail.

To reach the bathrooms from the studio, exit through the double doors and proceed straight through the lobby and down the hall . Turn left, and the two bathrooms will be on your right side. The closest one has a stall and is not wheelchair accessible. The far bathroom is accessible.

About the 
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About the 

Elisa Ferrari is an artist and curator, and holds a BFA (University of Architecture of Venice) and a MAA (ECUAD). She works with text, image, and sound. To consider acts and implications of retrieval, she produces projects that manifest as installations, sound walks, artist books, and performance; often addressing or incorporating archival fragments. She is part of – – / dashes, a sound performance collaboration with John Brennan. She is currently collaborating with Stacey Ho on a book of graphic scores for deep listening and sound making.


Karen previously worked at VIVO as Librarian, Distributor, and Programming Coordinator (1984-1999) and as an independent curator and critic. She has a special passion for artist-run centre archives and has been commissioned to create historical surveys and touring exhibitions for EM Media (Calgary) and ED Video (Guelph), and writings based on the Western Front and VIVO collections. Her essay “Abundant Harvest: The Recordings of Calgary Video Artists and Independents” was recently included in EM Media’s 30th anniversary publication “Expanded Standard Time”.


Alex Moskos is a long-standing participant in Montreal’s experimental music community. He has performed and recorded his own songs under the name Drainolith, with the noise rock band AIDS Wolf and with Dan’L Boone. Moskos has toured constantly over the past few years, released countless recordings on labels like NNA, American Tapes, and Drag City. He is also a writer, painter and skateboard.