This post is part of a weekly column highlighting found poetry related news and resources. If you know of found poetry related news, resources or events that should be featured here, please email News & Resources Editor Martin Elwell.
Erasure as an art form has moved into the big time. An entry was added recently to Wikipedia for “Erasure (artform)”, including erasure poetry. While the entry includes some great detail about the origins of erasure, it also includes this statement, “This poetry-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.” I went ahead and added a line about The Found Poetry Review. What will you add?
You can find erasure poems all over the internet. To start, there are several Pinterest boards dedicated to erasure poetry. On YouTube, there is a 90-minute video of three poets presenting their erasure work at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. And there are many blogs and literary magazines sharing erasures in print and online, like this one called Postcard Poems and Prose sharing the erasure poem “Crows” by Winston Plowes.
This month, Silver Birch Press, an incumbent purveyor of erasure poetry (among other things), announced the release of its NOIR Erasure Poetry Anthology. The book is a collection of erasure poems based on the writings of a range of noir authors, including James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Patricia Highsmith, Walter Mosley, Robert B. Parker, and Cornell Woolrich. I just ordered my copy. Don’t forget to grab yours!
Admittedly, this documentary film has nothing to do with erasure poetry. Furthermore, why would you want to watch a documentary about a font? Here’s why: First, the documentary focuses on written/printed communication. It features printed language from subway signs and album covers to advertisements and business cards, making it a well of ideas for found poetry sources. Second, the interviews reveal decades of evolution in the fields of graphic design and type design. It’s surprising how the aesthetic arguments of graphic designers parallel the arguments of poets. Third, you’ll never again put a piece of language out there without considering the font in which it is presented. The film is available to stream on Netflix if you’re so inclined.