light reading

January 9, 2021

For a change of pace, have a look at Comic Book Resources, where Theo Kogod recommends “5 DC Comics To Read If You Love Poetry (& 5 Indie Comics Just As Good).”

More poetry comics here.

comics, seriously

October 4, 2020

Neil Cohn thinks seriously about comics. With a Ph.D. in Psychology from Tufts University and post-doc work at U.C. San Diego, he is currently an Associate Professor at Tilburg University, in the Netherlands. His work explores the “similarities between the underlying structure of language and the structure found in the ‘visual language’ used in comics.”

Not surprisingly, those similarities extend to visual poetry.

If you’re interested in visual language, have a look at Cohn’s Visual Language Lab and his latest book, Who Understands Comics?: Questioning the Universality of Visual Language Comprehension (Bloomsbury 2020).

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image by Neil Cohn

good old-fashioned vispo

September 29, 2020

If you tend to think of visual poetry as a fairly recent phenomenon (if you think of it at all, that is), have a look at this collection of Early Visual Poetry on UbuWeb.

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image: Juan Caramuel de Lobkowitz, “Primus calamus ob oculos ponens metametricam” Rome 1663

Trinidad Escobar is a storyteller, poet, visual artist, and full-time cartoonist from Milpitas, California. She combines her comics/illustrations with poetry, memoir, essays, fiction, and more. See lots of examples on her website and unlock more on Patreon.

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image: Self-Portrait

Reasons to go to… New York

September 26, 2019

Really, who needs a reason? But if you should find that your travel plans include New York this autumn, be sure to visit The Center for Book Arts, which is presenting three new exhibitions that showcase the book as a medium that translates across time and space: Walt Whitman’s Words: Inspiring Artists Today curated by Deirdre Lawrence, The Traveling Artist: Journals by Lydia Rubio, and Witnessing Through Artist’s Books: Clarissa Sligh. These exhibits will be open to the public October 4 through December 14, 2019. (Note: The Center for Book Arts website is under construction, so here is a detailed description on Eventbrite, and here is a Facebook link.)

Walt Whitman’s Words includes work by the remarkable artist Meg Hitchcock. If you do go to New York, you can also see Hitchcock’s visual poetics at C24 Gallery (September 26 – November 29), Doug Adams Gallery at Graduate Theological Union (September 5 – December 13), and Green Door Gallery in Brooklyn (October 11 – November 10, 2019).

We’ve posted before about the Sackner Archive, Ruth and Marvin Sackner’s astonishing collection of some 75,000 pieces of visual and concrete poetry. Housed at the Sackner’s residence in Miami for many years, the entire collection has now found a new home at the University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections. The archive will be open by appointment to students, scholars, and the general public starting January 2020.

Read the announcement here, browse the archive online here, or start planning your 2020 trip to Iowa City, A UNESCO City of Literature.

Reasons to go to…

May 9, 2017

If you are interested in concrete and visual poetry, you may want to plan a trip to Miami this winter. November 17, 2017 through April 15, 2018, The Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) will present From the truer world of the other: Typewriter Art from the PAMM Collection. In 2016, PAMM acquired over 400 language-based works from the 70,000+ piece collection of the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry. The upcoming exhibition explores the experimental visual and poetic typewriter creations of approximately 15 artists, including Carl Andre, Henri Chopin, Dom Sylvester Houédard, d.a. levy, and Françoise Mairey.

See this 2014 Poetry Department post for additional informative links about the Sackner collection.

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image: Dom Sylvester Houédard. from the truer world of the other (dsh 720113), 1972. Typewriting on paper, 13 x 8 inches. Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami, acquired from The Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

If your travel plans between March 28 and July 30, 2017, include Southern California, you may want to visit the Getty Center to see Concrete Poetry: Words and Sounds in Graphic Space. The exhibit focuses on the visual, verbal, and sonic experiments of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, displaying material drawn principally from the Getty Research Institute’s collection.

Admission to the Getty Center and the exhibit, in Research Institute Gallery I, is free and no tickets are required. (Parking is $15.)

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image: Open (Abre), Augusto de Campos (b. 1931) and Julio Plaza (1938–2003), 1969.

alt zine

August 19, 2016

Postprint Magazine

Just when we say we don’t generally talk about literary magazines, here’s another post about a new literary magazine. But wait. This is different. You have your print magazines, your online magazines and now you have Postprint Magazine. The idea of Postprint, which seems to be manifesting itself in New York, is place as magazine. That’s right. The gallery or physical space becomes the magazine, so instead of browsing through the printed or digital pages, your body moves through the space to view the work.

Postprint’s first exhibit, which closes on Sunday, is entitled “Expensive Poetry” and features artworks that include text in various ways. An archive of each “issue” of Postprint will remain on the website. You can view Postprint Issue 001 online now. You can also read a more detailed description of the project and see more photos on The Creators Project blog. Keep an eye on the website and on Postprint Magazine on Facebook for news on upcoming issues. Very cool.

wearing the poem

April 13, 2016

Cecilia Levy - "Lena"

From early samplers to quilts and even vestments, the combining of language and textile objects is a venerable tradition. A recent article in Broadly, “Mark My Words: The Subversive History of Women Using Thread as Ink,” uses the frame of feminism to illustrate historic and contemporary applications of words to fabric.

Whether the stitching is a way to preserve words, to illustrate them or, like slam poetry, a way to animate them, this visual/verbal art adds new dimension to both fabric and words. Here’s an earlier, related post. And here are a few links to additional examples of artists exploring this hybrid form: Ruth Rae, Georgina Goodman, Cecilia Levy, Cathy Cullis, Tamara Jelača and Kerry Larkin. Okay. That’s enough distraction. Get back to your poem.
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image/artwork © copyright Cecilia Levy

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