VisPo Supplement 3
The VisPo Supplement moves along to its third installment. The shift here involves more visual poetry by way of text-based poems, a review, a primer, a sampler and essays. This installment will be rolled out one post per week over the next nine weeks. Thanks for visiting! Also check out VisPo Supplement 1 and VisPo Supplement 2.
–Nico Vassilakis, Editor
“¢ Δ( ´TÉNÃ0½#ñ‘¯(qË!´–#T¢|€kORƒ7Ùîö÷LÒ6*” [Un dimanche après-midi à l’Ile de la Grande Jatte]” was written in 2008-2009 and is published here for the first time. It is written in an ecstatic language that offers unmediated contact with the singleness of pure truth. While this poem will not unlock its secrets to doubters, for those elect whose steadfastness in the face of prevarication and disorientation have earned them the title Ideal Reader, “¢ Δ( ´TÉNÃ0½#ñ‘¯(qË!´–#T¢|€kORƒ7Ùîö÷LÒ6*” provides a guide for everyday life. This poem answers the call for a popular poetry that can galvanize the engagement of ordinary people.
This project came about through the will of Tim Gaze, author of 100 Scenes, and a group of authors that come from visual poetry, experimental narrative, asemic writing, and other contiguous territories. Together, they created a small constellation that gave origin to this collective and collaborative “text”. The authors are, besides Gaze, Rosaire Appel, Tony Burhouse, Marco Giovenale, Gareth A Hopkins, Satu Kaikkonen, Gary J Shipley, Christopher Skinner, Lin Tarczynski, Orchid Tierney, Sergio Uzal and Nico Vassilakis (whom you should recognize as one of the co-editors of the excellent The Last Vispo Anthology).
There seems to be a renaissance in publications and exhibitions about visual poetry. Not only are museums and archives catching up to complete and present their collections, but also galleries and publishers have been brave enough to give visual poetry a voice in the contemporary art and literature debate.
The haptic mark–in whatever form it takes–gives us a rendering of a sensual apprehension of space. The marks–marking sensation as they do–are fluid. Within any combination of marks we witness the incisions of a particular history: the group of wrinkles in an aging person’s face, or the apparent cracks and scars up and down the bark or skin of a tree’s trunk. These incisions–these haptics–are one of the ways in which we may publicly and intimately witness the sensual pace, rhythm, shape and character of an historical record: the inscription of an event, its autobiography, if you will.
On April 23 , 2011 (which happens to have been Shakespeare’s birthday, a fact noted several times in what followed) Robert Grenier and I sat down in my living room in Bolinas to record what became the fourth of four conversations (“On Natural Language”), all four of which together with “images of each of the drawing poems under consideration” can be found at PennSound. What follows here is a reconsideration of the first of the drawing poems (“CICADA / CICADA / CICADA / CICADA”) that we talked about that rainy afternoon, beginning with some further thinking about what it was that we were talking about.
Almost thirty years have passed since the untimely death of Robert Zend, avant-garde writer and artist. After his immigration from Hungary to Canada as a political refugee in 1956, he produced a body of work remarkable for its diversity of medium and genre: poetry, fiction, concrete poetry, typewriter and computer art, collages, and art incorporating found objects such as thumbtacks, string, automotive gaskets, and toilet paper rolls. Some works defy classification, such as Oāb, his multi-genre metapoetic exploration of authorial creation. Zend was also a prolific doodler, producing quick sketches on everything from sticky notes to cocktail napkins.
The following selection showcases a variety of technical and aesthetic approaches, including typewriter art (his “typescapes”) and hand-drawn concrete poetry.
A new edition of Aram Saroyan’s Complete Minimal Poems, which received the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, has just come out from Primary Information/ Ugly Duckling Presse. His most recent book is thlink: Essays in Community.
…Alain Satié was a brilliant talent in the new group of artists, joining the movement in the 1960s. He was born in 1944 in Toulouse, where he studied at the Beaux-Arts de Toulouse after technical training. He followed his brother to Paris and worked in graphic arts and adopted Letterism as his passion in 1964. He died in 2011, and was honored with a memorial at the Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Satié was established as one of the few Lettrists who lived only for his art, and only by his art. He occupied various studios in Paris and eventually established his residence and studio in a former farmhouse in the village of Bouleurs, near Crécy-la-Chapelle, about an hour east of Paris.
angela’s research in acoustic ecology, counter-mapping, and ecopoetics informs her artistic output. She received a Chalmers Arts Fellowship (Canada, 2009) and held the position of Arts Queensland Poet-in-Residence (Australia, 2012). In 2013, Áfall / Trauma was shortlisted for the Leslie Scalapino Award. Her literary debut Wide slumber for lepidopterists (Coach House Books, 2006) is being adapted for stage production in Iceland.