Winnipeg poet Christoff Engbrecht owns between 30 and 40 typewriters, all manual, some of them dating back a century. The click-clack-ding and the spooled ribbons, ink-smudged fingers and tangible byproduct of all that clacking turn the writing process into both an auditory and visual experience, he says. "It's like you're seeing writing happen."
Engbrecht, 37, is one half (along with David Streit) of the "writing-event collective" Poor Tree, which uses old typewriters and portable turntables to create their sound art. He and Streit will co-write (alternating lines on their respective typewriters) and then read aloud their poems onstage, sometimes alongside live musicians.