Eric Schmaltz is a scholar, editor, and artist who works across text, image, and sound to explore the limits and affordances of multimedia and multimodal literary practices. His work can be located in the fields of Canadian literature, avant-garde literature, and creative writing with outputs that often take the form of traditional scholarly publications, literary texts, exhibits, curation, and mentorship. Eric currently serves as Writer-on-the-Grounds at Glendon College (York University) and coordinates the Certificate in Creative Writing Across Contexts. As a first-generation scholar, he earned a Ph.D. in English from York University and completed a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship in the English Department at the University of Pennsylvania.
His monograph Borderblur Poetics: Multimodality and Avant-Gardism in Canada, 1963-1988, excerpts of which have appeared in peer-reviewed journals Forum and Canadian Poetry, is forthcoming from the University of Calgary Press. Bringing together archival research, historical analysis, canon intervention, and poetic critique, this book traces proliferation of a Canadian avant-garde literary movement known as borderblur –– an international branch of the avant-garde movement of the same name –– that engaged the conditions of seeing, hearing, and feeling during the emergence of the information age.
With Christopher Doody, he edited the critical edition of I Want to Tell You Love by bill bissett and Milton Acorn which is now available from University of Calgary Press. Published for the very first time in its intended form, I Want to Tell You Love sees the combination of bissett’s and Acorn’s seemingly incongruous poetics confront the turbulent and swiftly changing world of the 1960s. A collection of poems and illustrations, it is a window into the lives and motivations of two soon-to-be-canonized cultural figures.
His critical writings have been published or are forthcoming in academic journals, including Jacket2, Canadian Literature, English Studies in Canada, Canadian Poetry, Forum, and edited collections Future Horizons: Digital Humanities in Canada and All the Feels / Tous les sens: Affect and Writing in Canada / Affect et écriture au Canada. He has also presented at national and international conferences, including the Modern Language Association convention (Chicago), Northeast Modern Language Association conference (Philadelphia & Baltimore), Text/Sound/Performance conference (University College Dublin), Crisis and Beyond: The Literatures of Canada and Quebec conference (University of Innsbruck), and Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (various locations).
He maintains an aesthetically diverse literary practice –– working across genre and mode, including poetry, prose, print, sculpture, animated video, and more –– and has been recently supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and Toronto Arts Council. He is the author of Surfaces (Invisible Publishing) and shorter limited edition works. Eric was Guest Editor for the inaugural issue of Knife Fork Book’s literary magazine Not Your Best, highlighting contemporary visual poets and text artists, including Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Derek Beaulieu, Gary Barwin, Hiromi Suzuki, and others. His texts have been featured in solo and group exhibitions at art institutions, including The Institute for Experimental Art (Athens, Greece), the Symposium for the Philadelphia Avant-Garde Studies Consortium (Kislak Center, University of Pennsylvania), Critical Media Lab (University of Waterloo), Niagara Artists Centre (St. Catharines, Ontario), Havana Gallery (Vancouver, British Columbia), Rodman Hall (St. Catharines, Ontario), and more. He also curated two shows of visual poetry and text-art for the Niagara Artists Centre – How to Read (a solo show featuring derek beaulieu) and The Bird is the Word (and a group show including Kelly Mark, a.rawlings, bill bissett, Steve McCaffery, Judith Copithorne, and more).
Eric is committed to creating forums that connect literature and scholarship and has served in several community-focused roles, including co-editor (with Erin Knight) of The Angle for The Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English, former steering committee member for Meet the Presses, curator and host of the Grey Borders Reading Series, co-host and co-curator for the Avant-Garden literary reading series, Board Member and Chair of the Programming Committee at the Niagara Artists Centre, and Editorial and Administrative Assistant for PRECIPICe literary journal.
Email: schmaltzeric [at] gmail [dot] com