Paul Dutton. Courtesy The Little Red Umbrella.

Paul Dutton (born 1943) is a Canadian poet, novelist, essayist, and oral sound artist.


Dutton was born in Toronto, Ontario.

He was a member of the legendary Four Horsemen sound poetry quartet (1970-1988), along with Rafael Barreto-Rivera, Steve McCaffery, and bpNichol. In 1989, Dutton married his soundsinging oralities and harmonica-playing to John Oswald’s alto sax and Michael Snow’s piano and synthesizer in the free-improvisation band CCMC (1989 to the present).[1]

He has appeared in poetry festivals in Germany, France, and Venezuela, and at music festivals in Canada, Holland, and Argentina. An accomplished writer, in addition to his published books, he has written dozens of published essays on music and writing.

Dutton also often collaborates with fellow vocal sound artists Jaap Blonk, Koichi Makigami, Phil Minton, and David Moss in the group Five Men Singing. Other collaborators have included such musicians as John Butcher, Bob Ostertag, Dominic Duval, Phil Durrant, John Russell, Lee Ranaldo, Christian Marclay, Günter Christmann, Jere Lehtinen and Alexander Frangenheim. His soundsinging has been called "fascinating, inventive, grippingly obsessive" (The Wire).

More recently, he formed Quintet à Bras in company with two French poets and two French instrumentalists. In 2009, Mr. Dutton performed at The Scream In High Park, which is an annual literary festival in Toronto.


  • Jazzword: "(Five Men Singing) exposes every note, tone, timbre and texture that can be vibrated by the uvula, dredged from the throat and buzzed from the cheeks and lips."[2]
  • Musicworks: "The hybridity of Dutton’s æsthetic accomplishments is readily apparent on this CD’s (Mouth Pieces) opening track, Reverberations. Framing the words "gong" and "going" with the use of vowel-generated overtones, Dutton crystallizes form and content in a perfectly balanced musical and literary mantra."[3]
  • Dusted: "Whether reading or gurgling, solo Dutton remains compelling."[4]


  • bpNichol Chapbook Award, 1989.
  • Villa Waldberta Scholarship, Cultural Department, City of Munich, 1998.
  • Dora Mavor Moore Award, Toronto Association of Performing Arts, 2007.

Except where noted, award information courtesy the League of Canadian Poets.[1]



  • So'nets. Toronto: Ganglia Press, 1976.
  • The Book of Numbers. Erin, ON: Porcupine's Quill, 1979.
  • Lies: For John Newlove. Toronto: Curved H & Z, 1983.
  • Spokesheards (with Sandra Braman). Edmonton, AB: Longspoon Press / University of Alberta, 1983.
  • Haiku. Weston, ON: Curved H & Z, 1983.
  • Additives. Imprimiere Dromedaire, 1988.
  • Visionary Portraits. Stratford, ON: Mercury Press, 1991. ISBN 978-0-92054-480-8
  • Aurealities. Toronto: Coach House, 1991. ISBN 0-88910414-X
  • The Plastic Typewriter. Toronto: Underwhich Editions, 1993. ISBN 0-88658-087-0
  • Partial Additives. London: Writers Forum, 1994. ISBN 0-86162-551-X
  • Several Women Dancing. Stratford, ON: Mercury Press, 2002. ISBN 978-1-55128-096-7

With The Four HorsemenEdit

  • Horse D'Oeuvres. Don Mills, ON: General Publishing, 1975.
  • Schedule for Another Place. Minneapolis, MN: Bookslinger / Toothpaste Press, 1981.
  • The Prose Tattoo: Selected performance scores. Milwaukee, WI: Membrane Press, 1983.


  • Right Hemisphere, Left Ear. Toronto: Coach House, 1979.
  • Answeramics. Willowdale, ON: Coma Goats Press, [1983?]
  • Several Women Dancing. Toronto: Mercury Press, 2002.


  • Read the Way He Writes: A festschrift for bpNichol (edited with Steven Smith). Toronto: Open Letter, 1986.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[5]


  • Best Canadian Essays, 1990. Fifth House Publishers, 1990.
  • Hard Times: A new fiction anthology. Mercury Press, 1990.
  • Carnival. Insomniac Press, 1996.
  • The Echoing Years: Contemporary Canadian and Irish verse. School of Humanities Publications, Waterford Institute of Technology, 2007.
  • In Fine Form: The Canadian book of form poetry. Polestar, 2005.

Paul Dutton reads Reminiscence, a found poem

Paul Dutton reads Reminiscence, a found poem

Paul Dutton reads two poems

Paul Dutton reads two poems.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy the League of Canadian Poets.[1]

Audio / videoEdit


  • Blues, Roots, Legends, Shouts & Hollers (Starborne Productions LP, STB-0180, 1980)
  • Mouth Pieces (OHM Éditions, 2000) ISBN: AVTR 021
  • Oralizations (Ambiances Magnétiques, 2005) ISBN: AM 130

See alsoEdit



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Dutton Paul, League of Canadian Poets]. Web, July 21, 2014.
  2. Ken Waxman, Jazzword, October 11, 2004
  3. W Mark Sutherland in Musicworks #80 (Canada), June 1, 2001
  4. Suriku Rineto. Dusted magazine, Sep. 7, 2005
  5. Search results = au:Paul Dutton 1943, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, July 21, 2014.

External linksEdit

Audio / video
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