Join Mr. Bennett and his spouse, artist C. Mehrl Bennett, for an evening of art and music at the It Looks Like It’s Open Gallery from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. C. is also one of four contributing editors of The Last Vispo Anthology. She did research at The OSU Avant Writing Collection, for which John is curator, to research visual poetry to recommend to our editors Nico Vassilakis & Crag Hill, and to help develop her essay in the book. (Profits from book sales will be for the gallery/studio collective’s benefit.)
Work from The Last Vispo Anthology will be on display alongside mail art from The 70 Project, and John will perform his poetry in collaboration with sound artists & musicians: Jeff Chenault, Larry Morratto, Ryan Jewell, Mike Shiflet, and Byron Smith.
Join Nico Vassilakis & Crag Hill at the North Creek Events Center at the University of Washington Bothell [ Campus Way NE ] as they perform a collaged reading of essays at 3:00 PM.
Convergence on Poetics queries the current understanding and practice of poetics within writing communities and the academy. The conference consists of keynote panels, poetics postings, and author performances. All events will be scheduled singularly, so that a conversation of the whole can address, in the words of George Oppen, “the meaning / Of being numerous.”
The conference runs from September 27th through 30th, and you can read more about it here. There is no fee for attending, but registration is required, so click here to make it happen!
Fantagraphics spotlights the intersection of art and language in this innovative new collection — without peer in English — that gathers the work of visual poets from around the world into one stunning volume. The alphabet is turned on its head and inside-out and the results culminate in a compilation of daring and surprising verbo-visual gems.
The Last Vispo Anthology is composed of vispo (a portmanteau of the words “visual” and “poetry") from the years 1998 to 2008, during a burst of creative activity fueled by file sharing and email, which made it possible for the vispo community to establish a more heightened and sophisticated dialogue with one another. The collection extends the dialectic between art and literature that began with ancient “shaped text,” medieval pattern poetry, and dada typography, pushing past the concrete poetics of the 1950s and the subsequent mail art movement of the 1980s to its current incarnation. Rather than settle into predictable, unchallenged patterns, this vibrant poetry seizes new tools to expand the body of work that inhabits the borderlands of visual art and poetic language.
The Last Vispo Anthology features 148 contributors from 23 countries on five continents. It includes 12 essays that illuminate the abundant history and the state of vispo today. The anthology offers a broad amalgam of long-time practitioners and poets new to visual poetry over the last decade, underscoring the longevity and the continued vitality of the art form.
“The descriptor ‘visual poetry’ cannot begin to hint at the wealth of potent mystery that The Last Vispo contains. It knocked my mind right off its cozy little track and sent it sprawling through a myriad of brand new experiences. I can’t remember the last time I encountered something so charged, mysterious, deep and pleasurably upsetting as this book.” – Jim Woodring
“A delightful cornucopia of imaginary languagescapes, opening the eye to other alphabetic climes, beyond the ho-hum regimentation of linear normalcies. & all from (just about) the past decade. Visual poetries: alive and expanding. It’s positively viral.” – Charles Bernstein
“Staring your way into and through the letter as object — the letter as solitary sign, the letter as crowned king. Staring gives us the keys to the kingdom. This book is a glorious adjunct to the long history of concrete and visual poetry. Long live the king!” – Harry Mathews
Delivered early yesterday, our advance copies of The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008, an innovative new collection that spotlights the intersection of art and language. If you're wondering "What is this 'vispo' of which you speak?" we have a nice big 35-page excerpt, including introductory essays by editors Nico Vassilakis and Crag Hill, on the book's dedicated page, which you can peruse to get a sense of this fascinating art form — and of course we have more previews in the works. Scheduled for October release, the book is available for pre-order right now.
Over on the Abstract Comics blog, Andrei Molotiu has leaked word about The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998 - 2008, edited by Crag Hill and Nico Vassilakis and to be published by us in Fall of next year. Above, "Emma," a piece by Nico which accompanied the news. Fantagraphics loyalists may also know Nico as our longtime warehouse/shipping manager, and we've long been proud to boast one of the foremost practitioners of visual poetry, a.k.a. vispo, on our staff, so this book is near and dear to our hearts. Vispo and abstract comics are related disciplines, so readers of our Abstract Comics anthology should definitely keep this on their radar. An announcement about this book is forthcoming, but we figured we'd share as long as the news is out there.