The Last Vispo Anthology will make a large splash if at first in a small pond. But the work being done to roll it out will cause the ripples from that pond to slip onto heretofore unreachable shors for visual poetry. For more people interested in art and poetry, in more places, visual poetry will become a genre to consider. Got to dip your toes first before you can swim.
Last night I held in my hand an advance copy of The Last Vispo Anthology. I had high expectations for Fantagraphics--designer, production team, printer, publishers Gary Groth and Kim Thompson; what I held in my hand was a quantum leap above my expectations. The cover is to die for, vispoems pop off the varnished pages, and the binding is sewn to last for years (if this is the last, we want it to have a shelf-life, eh?).
I want this to be the first of many toasts and huzzahs and hurrahs to Nico Vassilakis, my co-editor. Editing poetry publications for the last three decades has been a joy, but this experience has been particularly joyous. Kudos and hugs, Nico. We done good. A project conceived during or after several conversations with Geof Huth and Jim Andrews (as we prepared for an ensemble poetry performance in Seattle), has been over four years in the making. All that time and space--the sporadic back and forth, quiet and sparse and then furious, at a distance or face-to-face--buoys every page of this anthology. I look forward to the less-than-quiet times ahead as this book marches off into the world.
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.
PLEASE send mailart on the theme of 70 and/or John M Bennett to:
The 70 Project c/o C Mehrl Bennett
137 Leland Ave
Columbus OH 43214 USA
NOTE: John M. Bennett, poet and head of Luna Bisonte Prods, will turn 70 in October 2012. Also note that he likes skulls and October is the month for All Saints’ Day/Day of the Dead/Halloween. I hope to have a venue for John to perform his poetry with other sound artists here in Columbus, and will definitely display THE 70PROJECT mailart at that time. If nothing else it will be available in a box to browse as well as scanned and documented at http://the70project.blogspot.com/ for which I will post the website address HERE and THERE. Feel free to invite others to contribute mailart to this project. FORMAT OPEN/No returns. DEADLINE: October 12, 2012