Welcome to the
premiere issue of Tip Of The Knife (http://tipoftheknife.blogspot.com/). We are dedicated to tearing down any
artistic/literary wall in our way. As visual poetry reaches its Nth generation,
are few and far
between, and poets seem okay with this. T of K only presents work that
Johnny-Come-Lately Xerox treatments, obvious computer manipulations, and tired visual puns.
The people here
are those who have inspired me, doing future work all through the 1980s.
continues to be relevant three decades after it all began, and they continue
Marzipan Factory is the most original
and enticing book of poems I have read in years. It is Kafkaesque and yet
tender, cynical and yet warm, elliptical and yet wholly immediate. Grzegorz
Wróblewski can take the most ordinary of phenomena and then give them the twist
of a knife: to "spare" the life of a living organism—a "dry" tangerine for
instance—is, from another angle, to forget it. The pleasures and terrors of
sex, of age, of the fear of death, of the deceptions of our social life, have
rarely been so brutally—yet wittily and charmingly—documented as they are in
these short, often gnomic poems, surprisingly well rendered in Adam Zdrodowski’s
translation. Grzegorz Wróblewski restores one’s faith in the power of lyric
poetry to renew itself. — Marjorie Perloff
poems are ironic and serious, quick and probing, nailed to place and character
but soaring in imagination. If you haven't read his poems, it's not too late to
start and this new volume is the perfect place to do that. —John Z.
A Marzipan Factory will
also be available through Amazon shortly.
Arne Rautenberg (born 1967,
Germany) studied Art History and Literature and lives in Kiel,
where he works as an author and
artist. In his works, which are full of humour, he experiments with rhythms and styles, intonations and
levels of language in poetic
play with the forms of perception.
Rautenberg published his first collection of poetry, "Neondaemmerlicht"
(Neon Twilight) in 1996. His
literary oeuvre covers not only poetry but also experimental texts
and his novel "Der
Sperrmuellkoenig" (The Trash King) (2002). Since 2006 he has also been teaching at the Muthesius
School of Art in Kiel and he is
a freelance critic and feature writer. Rautenberg's many awards
include the Poetry Prize of the
Graz Academy (2001) and the Random House Prize for Satirical Literature (2002). The latest collections
of poetry are: "gebrochene
naturen" (Broken Nature, 2009) and "der wind laesst tausend huetchen fliegen"
(The Wind Makes Fly a Thousand
Hats, 2010) - a collection of poetry for children.
Visual poems from Fernando Aguiar, Antonio Aragao, Abilio-Jose Santos, Cesar Figueiredo, Ana Hatherly, Alberto Pimenta, Emerenciano, Cesar Espinosa, Francisco Marmata, Jorge Rosano, Luz del Carmen Vilchis, Alex Selenitsch, Pete Spence, Ian Birks, Finola Moorhead, Peter Murphy, Dave Powell, Jiri Tabor Novak, Bev Bisbett, Julie Clarke Powell, Javant Biaruja, Ian White, Rea Nikonova, Serge Sigey, with commentary by Harry Polkinhorn, Gerlad Janacek, and Lyn Hejinian.
Ambit will not
elaborate upon a few disparate poems that lack contiguity. Rather, Ambit is a
journal that emphasizes the liesurely expansion of an idea, an expansiveness
that muddles time and space over the course of space and time. Simply, Ambit
is a host to the serialized poem, the long poem.
"Poem," of course, is
an open idea. Visual elements are also welcome, as well as...
issue of Ambit will appear as a downloadable PDF, and will feature the work
of 9 writers.
Each issue of Ambit will also feature the work of one
artist, who will design the cover art.
To engage in a discussion of
length seems inappropiate. Send your work to email@example.com,
but please follow a few, simple guidelines so that we do not lose your
submission in the aether.
1. Please follow this format in your subject
line: name/title of work/"Ambit Submission"
1a. If you are submitting
artwork for the cover, follow the same format as above, but write "Ambit
Cover Submission" instead.
2. Send work as a Word attachment. PDF is also
3. Add a short cover letter and bio.
4. Allow up to 30
days for reply.
In the event that electronic submissions are impossible,
we'd be glad to see it come across the USPS. Remember to add all
relevant information, and follow this format when sending:
Visual Poetry When So Few Readers Read It?
How many ways can I
approach that question? Is one answer better than another, touching more truth
than any other? No one way to approach, to answer, to know, to write, but I
have to start somewhere:
Do I Stretch printed language to its full face the
question with my tongue lashing out? I wouldn’t be able to scratch the surface.
I don’t have a barbed tongue, nor do my poems.
Do I run at the question headfirst then, hands clenched, arms swinging,
or hands and arms open? The reader frustrates me, yes, yet I haven’t forgotten
the power of a good embrace. There aren’t many better bridges connecting us.
That gentle contact might get me Visible language somewhere answering such a
Do I approach the question on my knees, putting it off guard just before
I kick it in the groin? That hurts, I know; maybe I’ll just trip it up and try
to tickle out an answer. I’ve wrestled enough with it, or have I?
Do I hold back, suave, invisible cigarette cupped in my hand, waiting for
the answer to come to me? I’ve been waiting for twenty years. Since 1981-82 at
Miekal And and Liz Was’ boundary-pushing arthouse in Madison,
I’ve been hammering myself for an answer. I know I’m not alone believing visual
is worth reading and worthy of more readers than those who closely read
the poets in the first two volumes of this anthology. That’s part of an answer:
an audience, even if small.
Do I turn my back, my giving up/giving in the only answer I can offer?
When we’re writing, we all turn our backs or else we wouldn’t get any work
done. But in this case the work itself cannot answer the question, as much as I
would like it to do the talking.
Is the question potential impossible to answer?
I’ll ask another: Why can’t the poetry not out of the throat yet full of
force, the reader, and the act of seeing cohabitate?
The dialectic is short-circuited. From my meter readings, and the meter
readings of thousands of others throughout the world, visual poetry has the
power. I don’t have to troubleshoot there. Yet all too often the charge of the
poetry does not cross over to the reader. She looks, I presume, but she doesn’t
know what she looks at. What wires are crossed, disconnected, or missing in the
act of seeing, the interaction of perceived and perceiver, poem and reader?
The poems register on
the retina. I’ve talked with hundreds of readers, young and old, experienced
and inexperienced readers of poetry, who can Take the lang
out of uage describe what they are looking at in SCORE or other
magazines publishing visual poetry– shapes of words and letters, words drawn,
shredded, photographed, collaged, whelped in innumerable ways on the previously
predictable two-dimensional page. These readers can also testify to the
disruption of their reading habits, and this makes many uncomfortable.
I remember that discomfort, too. I had thumbed through Emmett Williams’ AnAnthology of Concrete Poetry in libraries and used bookstores on Berkeley’s
Shattuck and Telegraph Avenue
on innumerable occasions. But the stuff didn’t get beyond the surface of my
eye. not from the gut yet with courage I thought it was technique
without tectonics. I couldn’t see, couldn’t listen.
My entre came in 1981 through the work of other paradigm-shifting poets.
Ron Silliman’s Ketjak and Tjanting shook up my understanding,
shifting the fulcrum of form from whole to part, expanding what I accepted as
content fitting for poetry. Clark Coolidge, Larry Eigner, and Robert Grenier
showed me the highly-charged, hard-packed poetry in words and phrases, in
particles of words, in the blank space Stretch the
the page. When I re-encounteredAram
Saroyan’s work in the Williams’ anthology, I was ready: the work penetrated me,
and I was electrified by Claus Bremer, Ernst Jandl, Seiichi Niikuni (oh how I
love thee, Seiichi), Hansjorg Mayer, master of the font, and a dozen other
poets from around the world.
Synergy quickly followed: Bill DiMichele, Laurie Schneider, Miekal And
and I created and shared a poetry tongueless but not voiceless that seemed
different from what we knew of concrete poetry. Alphabetic text was subsumed by
other visual elements (in some poems there was no recognizable “text”
whatsoever). We created this work for ourselves, knew no magazine that would
publish it (not Soup, as eclectic and
adventurous as it was, not This,
defining itself narrowly, or Hills … ). In fact, we didn’t even try.
SCORE was born to fill a gap, its first issue bringing out a selection of the
work we had been sharing. Before DiMichele, Schneider, and I knew it, without
thinking much about running a magazine, we had one: four issues in a year and a
When we sent the first issue out, we discovered we were not alone. We
found out that there was a contemporary audience for concrete poetry. One
magazine in particular, Karl Kempton’s Kaldron, printing some of the
most vivid visual poetry from not only the United States but from around the
world, invited us into the bigger world of a poetry until it
is recognizable in a totally unexpected dimension that soon was called
visual poetry. This international community, something larger than self, this
artform that transcends boundaries, mental and political, provided the energy
for much of the writing I did in the 1980s and 90s. I had found a teeming,
thriving world on a path I did not know I was following. It took me to where I
did not know I wanted to go, to spaces on the page I did not imagine existed.
Do other readers want to find such paths, get off into the unknown brush,
the initially unidentifiable flora and fauna Visible language of
contemporary poetry? I’m skeptical. There are far fewer intrepid readers than
there are readers of poetry. There are far fewer intrepid readers of visual
poetry than there are readers of poetry. Diminishing returns? Does the size of
your audience matter or is it what you do with it?
If a reader doesn’t have the grounding to decode visual poetry, do visual
poets have to provide the grounding?from the
back of my eyes to the front of yours How can we ground potential
readers? This anthology can provide conduits for the power of
visual poetry. We’ve flipped the switch. The reader has to be the one to stick
her finger into the current. That, in the end, is my answer.
Sonnagrams 1-20 by K. Silem Mohammad The first
installment of K. Silem Mohammad's anagrammatic manipulations of Shakespeare
that tell us, among other things, that "Richard Nixon screwed a giant squid,"
and that there is "a word the OED omits," and "Whoever says it retches, dies,
and shits." This one's a killer!
Ladybug Laws by Laura Moriarty
An imagined society of Ladybugs, you and I--Moriarty takes us into the realm of
the possible where language and civil disobedience are both games to be played
for real. "Some writers to their readers are as spiders / But you to me as
reader are insectivore / Or creature of paradise".
Market Freakout by
Stan Apps Poetry is like the forces of the market. Adjustment of the
forces is like being in love with "Santheripean Kingdies." Apps takes us on a
poly-vocal exploration of the realities of a world run by Wall
Alphabet Man by A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz The concrete
poems in this volume are produced using all of the letters of the alphabet each
exactly one time. Clean, provocative, and almost sculptural, Liszkiewicz plays
with a very plastic conception of language. A must for those interested in the
visual use of the letter.
This August 19-21 the new OSU
Thompson Library will be invaded by an exciting horde of writers, scholars,
artists, and others for the 2nd Avant Writing Symposium.There will be some 50 presentations, performances, papers, readings,
installations, exhibits, and other events, and an untold number of observers,
fans, scholars, and kibitzers.Sponsored by The Avant Writing
Collection and the Rare Books & MSS Library, with additional support from
The Department of Spanish & Portuguese and The Center for Latin American
Studies, the attendees and presenters will come from all over the United States,
Latin America, and elsewhere.All with a focus on various of the
Avant Gardes active in the world today, primarily those using language in some
form or other.Events will take place in the Thompson Library, at
OSU’s Urban Arts Space, and at Skylab in downtown Columbus.In
addition to the presentations and performances, there will be exhibits in the
Thompson Library, and at Skylab, and a room dedicated to continual presentations
of electronic and digital poetry and literature.
The previous Symposium, in
2002, was a huge success, and is still being talked about.So if
you want to learn about literary innovation and experimentation, avant garde
writing, electronic and digital literature, multi-lingualism, visual poetry,
performance poetry, Fluxus poetry and texts, collaborative writing, sound
poetry, international networking, artist´s books, cut-up text, concrete poetry,
found poetry, mail art, video poetry, and much much more, this is your