amongst books

amongst books

Monday, March 24, 2008

jwcurry mentioned

in this cool documentary about the visual art/concrete poetry collectors Ruth and Marvin Sackner.

about half way thru the film, Marvin opens a thick envelope from Canada, telling the audience that it is from John Curry, who he collects a lot. he sniffs the envelope and says “this guy’s a smoker.” he shows the little pamphlet “Do you read your garbage” and also some artists’ trading cards Curry made. Marvin explains that he, himself, doesn’t trade, he just keeps them.

the documentary is a must see for anyone interested in concrete poetry and visual art. the Sackner’s home is filled with amazing treasures and they tell stories of how they managed to procure the items. one item is a deluxe version of a book, signed and coloured by Apollinaire in 1917, another includes a handwritten note by Gertrude Stein.

i would LOVE to see an exhibit of concrete poetry at a gallery here in Ottawa. what you’ll see in this film will astound you.

remember if you get the chance, go over to jwcurry’s store. he’s got an amazing collection of material to do with bpNichol, for starters. you should buy stuff.

speaking of concrete poetry, something i’m looking forward to is Decalogue 3 to be published by Chaudiere Books. it will feature Ottawa’s visual poets. can’t wait for that.

some of the best sources on line for concrete poetry that i've run into are

the Material Poem
dpqp, Geoff Huth's blog
Other Cl/utter, Jenny Sampirisi's blog
Dan Waber's site: minimalist concrete poetry

perhaps you have others that inspire, please suggest.

i’m currently working on my own version of an artist's book, all hand-made, no high tech, inspired by artists like Max Ernst and Joseph Cornell. if you have any artists' books, you like, i'd love to see them.

watch the documentary, it may just inspire you to create some concrete poetry.


John MacDonald said...

thanks for the link to the vid.

Max Middle said...

There was an exhibition in the mid to latter 1970s at SAW Gallery entitled 'Octavo'. Justin Wonnacott told me about having seen it; not sure if it was explicitly concrete &/or visual poetry. Justin referred to it as text art.

John Curry was talking about setting up an exhibition a couple years ago when the apartment next to his was vacant. Never happened. If the artist run centres here had any sense they'd be on curry's case til he agreed to an exhibition in one of their facilities & like... they'd pay him carfac fees... what a concept...

Speaking of concrete & visual:

Gregory Betts gives this talk as part of the UO CanLit Symposium 'Re: Reading the Postmodern' May 10th 1:30pm:

"Postmodern Decadence: Canadian Concrete and Sound Poetry"

Sounds like fun, doesnt it? The cookie kind of decadence or the late 19th century kind? I'm rooting for the cookie kind.

Lavery & me read as the as the Sound Project with the Betts fella & some others that evening May 10th as part of the symposium.