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

Reasons to go to…New York

October 29, 2015

Meg Hitchcock - Self-portrait

It has been a while since we mentioned Meg Hitchcock, and this seems an auspicious moment to renew that acquaintance. Of her work, which she calls “text drawings,” Hitchcock says, “I deconstruct a sacred text by cutting its individual letters, and reassemble them to form a passage from another holy book.”

These remarkable works are currently on exhibit in New York:
Verbatim, a solo show at Studio10
October 30 – December 20, 2015
Opening: Friday, October 30; 7-9 p.m.
56 Bogart Street, Brooklyn, NY 11206

Text Me, a group show at Hazan Projects
October 29 – December 12, 2015
Opening: Thursday, October 29; 6-8 p.m.
35 N. Moore Street, Tribeca, NY, NY 10013

Ten Years of Artists Books, curated by Donna Seager
at the Brooklyn Public Library
October 1 – January 24, 2016
10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11238

and in Massachusetts:
Bibliothecaphilia, a group show at MASS MoCA
on view through March 2016
1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247

More Meg Hitchock on her artist’s website.

On a geographically related note…if you’re headed to the East Coast, you might also consider attending the 42nd Annual New Year’s Day Marathon Benefit Reading for The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church.
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image (via email): Meg Hitchcock, Self Portrait: The Lord’s Prayer, Letters cut from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, 23 x 18 in. (detail), 2015

	"Houedard, Dom Sylvester (British). Untitled (17/06/64). " Catalog Number: 40120

Ruth and Marvin Sackner have been collecting visual and concrete poetry for 40 years and have amassed close to a quarter of a million pieces. Now, but only through August 3, 2014, some 300 pieces from their collection are on exhibit at the new Pérez Art Museum Miami in A Human Document: Selections from the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry.

Learn more about the Sackner Archive and browse the catalog. Read an interview with the Sackners in the Miami Rail and a very interesting article in The Atlantic. See A Brief Guide to Concrete Poetry at Poets.org. Highly recommended: the 2006 film Concrete!, which can be streamed, free, at Ubuweb. The film not only introduces the Sackners and their collection, but also gives tremendous insight into the passions and process of collecting itself.
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image: Dom Sylvester Houédard, untitled, 1964, Catalog Number: 40120, from The Sackner Archive of Visual and Concrete Poetry

The Dark Would

Inferno, Canto I, of Dante’s Divine Comedy opens with the words,

“In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself, in a dark wood, where the direct way was lost. It is a hard thing to speak of, how wild, harsh and impenetrable that wood was, so that thinking of it recreates the fear. It is scarcely less bitter than death: but, in order to tell of the good that I found there, I must tell of the other things I saw there.”

The midlife tale and meaning of “dark wood” becomes “The Dark Would” in an exhibition now ongoing at Summerhall in Edinburgh, Scotland. Curated by Philip Davenport, the show includes text-works and visual poetry by Jenny Holzer, Richard Long, Susan Hiller, Tom Phillips, Simon Patterson, Mike Chavez-Dawson, Tony Lopez, Richard Wentworth, Caroline Bergvall, Lawrence Weiner, Fiona Banner and many others. In addition, some of the artwork by living artists is “answered” by works of those no longer alive, including Stéphane Mallarmé, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Joseph Beuys and William Blake.

Read more on The List, on arthur+martha, and see interviews and additional images in Flux Magazine (here and here). And if you find yourself in Edinburgh before January 24, 2014, do see The Dark Would.
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Divine Comedy translation by A. S. Kline

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