The two biggest trends in literature right now are spoken word and cybertext. The first is framed in a performance setting by wannabe rock stars, the second is played out on a computer by individuals dubbed cyber-punks. Neither come to mind as "literature." Christian Bök, author of Crystallography (Coach House), is a young Toronto poet widely associated with both. Given this celebrity, you have to wonder why Bök (pronounced book) chose the book format for his first collection of poetry.
Crystallography is a brilliant read. Cut into five sections, ranging from "Diamonds" (a piece that is both a discussion of the diamond and the author's gem-cutting father) to "Euclid and his Modern Rivals" (a graphic chapter that deconstructs the high school science textbook), the book contains equal parts poetry and science, with a dash of Christopher Dewdney (who, appropriately, edited the project) thrown in.
Crystallography is much more than the sum of its parts: as language-oriented writing it challenges the way we read by insisting that we be read instead. (Cybertext) instructions not included. Some (spoken word) dis-assembly required.