Intro

The Line Has Shattered is an invaluable teaching tool as well as a fascinating sketch of the community that came together for the legendary Vancouver Poetry Conference. Historians, poets, and lovers of poetry must give thanks to director Robert McTavish for rescuing rare footage from the archives and contextualizing the socio-political landscape that informed North American experimental poetry in the mid-1960s. This documentary does much to explain the trajectory of the Open Field practices that began with the San Francisco Renaissance and unfurled from coast to coast for the next five decades.  
     - Lisa Jarnot, Poet and author of Robert Duncan: The Ambassador from Venus (University of California Press, 2012)

"If you don't know anything about the 1963 Vancouver Poetry Conference, start here. If you've read everything there is to read about the 1963 Vancouver Poetry Conference, restart here. This documentary provides original footage, visualization of key texts, and new interviews that highlight the importance of the event to the writing of so many key figures in Canada and the United States. If you've ever wondered what cutting edge poetry looked like back in the 1960s, what it sounded like, or how some of the top poets of a generation interacted with their audience, this film is your portal back to a time when poetry mattered and people gathered in large but tight knit communities to debate style, theme, and form. That line might have shattered, but it is well worth revisiting."
     -Gregory Betts, Poet, author of Avant-Garde Canadian Literature: The Early Manifestations, forthcoming from the University of Toronto Press, and Director of the Centre for Canadian Studies at Brock University. 

Robert McTavish has made a lively documentary about a significant moment of one important generation of poets speaking to another; and also about the introduction of the New American Poets into Canada as well as university life. The Line has Shattered serves as useful document to the ongoing histories of poets in the academy and the importance of open form as a strategy for both poetry and life when thinking of this interface. Highly recommended.
  -Peter Gizzi, Poet, co-editor of My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer, and Professor of English, UMass Amherst.
About Robert Mctavish
Robert McTavish holds degrees in English (Simon Fraser University) and Journalism (University of Regina). He has made all of Non-Inferno Media's documentaries, as well as freelance writing, film, and radio work - including the recent Phyllis Webb: The Art of Ideas for IDEAS on CBC Radio. He also edited A Long Continual Argument: The Selected Poems of John Newlove for Chaudiere Books (Ottawa, 2007).