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.
If you need permission to do your own thing in the face of many camps vying for your poetry time, dime, fandom and (if you’re chosen) participation, now you’ve got it. In her Boston Review article, Threat Level: Poetry, Amy King breaks down the status of contemporary poetry and reminds us that whether you’re a Conceptualist, a Metamodernist, a Postmodernist, a Formalist, a Lyricist, a mixture of several or none at all, “poetry is the water, the planetary pull, the sky’s embrace, and the song of oars; it is the potential of all that is human, which is comprised of atoms from farthest reaching stars, and will not cease until, perhaps, the last person no longer knows words.”
Two weeks ago, I posted about the international poetry event, Poetry will be made by all! taking place in Zurich, Switzerland from January 30th to March 30th. Now that the dust from the opening weekend has settled, I came across participant Quinn Latimer’s event review, Poets’ Problems, on Artforum. While she describes both high points and low points from her time in Zurich, the overall sentiments in Latimer’s review are irony and doubt. Perhaps most intriguing, the closing lines of Latimer’s post echo Amy King’s message in Threat Level: Poetry, “the curators kept up the tinny boosterism—’I have seen the future of poetry and the future of poetry is…’—Gertrude Stein’s words from her Last Operas and Plays rang out across the middle school of my mind: ‘Ladies there is no neutral position for us to assume.'”
I was intrigued when I read Loren Kleinman’s interview with poet Geoffrey Gatza, The Art of Conceptual Poetry, in last week’s Huffington Post. The discussion about Gatza’s new book, Apollo, interested me because the book combines poetry with chess (two of my favorite things) and ballet (I’m not as keen on ballet). Further, Gatza describes the book as a work of conceptual poetry “with a lower case c…It’s not like the Conceptual poetry of Kenneth Goldsmith, Vanessa Place and Divya Victor.” Instead, “the whole book is an art object, taking the form of a souvenir program of a ballet performance that never took place,” and that’s just the beginning. Gatza pulled from chess, ballet, historical figures and imaginary characters to create his collection. Read on!
The subtitle to this article pretty much sums it up, “People will make art with any technology.” In his article for The Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal delves into the The Lost Ancestors of ASCII Art. What is ASCII art? It’s “pictures made from text: letters, numbers, and special characters like # * and \.” If, like me, you went to high school and/or college in the 1990’s, you probably remember using pre-internet systems like Telnet. Starting with ASCII Art, Madrigal goes backwards more than a century to explore typewriter art of varying levels of merit. While many examples are comical, knowing the past just may lead you to the next generation of text-based visual art. Give it a try!