visual poetry


THE NEW CONCRETE: VISUAL POETRY IN THE 21ST CENTURY

The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century, front cover

With Victoria Bean I am the co-editor of The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century (Hayward Publishing, 2015). The New Concrete is a long-overdue survey of the rise of concrete poetry in the digital age. The accessibility of digital text and image manipulation, modern print techniques and the rise of self-publishing have invigorated a movement that first emerged in an explosion of literary creativity during the 1950s and 1960s. This volume is a highly illustrated overview of contemporary artists and poets working at the intersection  of visual art and literature, producing some of the most engaging and challenging work in either medium.

The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century, Hayward Publishing, 2015


Featuring an introductory essay by renowned American poet Kenneth Goldsmith and edited by celebrated poets Victoria Bean and Chris McCabe, The New Concrete is an indispensable introduction to the breadth of concrete poetry being produced today.

The New Concrete features new works by poets and artists including Jordan Abel, Vito Acconci, mIEKAL aND, Tauba Auerbach, Fiona Banner, Simon Barraclough, Michael Basinski, Erica Baum, Victoria Bean, Derek Beaulieu, David Bellingham, Caroline Bergvall, Jen Bervin, Cecilie Bjørgås Jordheim, Jaap Blonk, Christian Bök, Sean Bonney, Jean-François Bory, Pavel Büchler, Augusto de Campos, Francesca Capone, Antonio Claudio Carvalho, Bariş Çetinkol, Henri Chopin, Paula Claire, Thomas A. Clark, Bob Cobbing, Tom Comitta, Judith Copithorne, Simon Cutts, Natalie Czech, Bob Dahlquist, Wally Depew, Johanna Drucker, Jesse Patrick Ferguson, Peter Finch, Alec Finlay with Ray DiPalma, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Rachel E. Foster, S.J. Fowler, John Furnival, Philip Gallo, Ilse Garnier, Pierre Garnier, John Giorno, Marco Giovenale, Eugen Gomringer, Roel Goussey, Scott Helmes, Henningham Family Press, Sophie Herxheimer, James Hoff,  Karl Holmqvist, Jenny Holzer, Susan Howe, Geof Huth, Serkan Işın, Tom Jenks, Julie Johnstone, Leandro Katz, Sarah Kelly, Ronald King, John Kinsella, Anatol Knotek, Christopher Knowles, Márton Koppány, Richard Kostelanetz, Daniel Lehan, Ruark Lewis, Simon Lewty, Liliane Lijn, Tony Lopez with John S. Webb, Donato Mancini, Toby Martinez de las Rivas, Hansjörg Mayer, Chris McCabe, Steve McCaffery, Kevin Mcpherson eckhoff, nick-e melville, David Miller, Stuart Mills, Franz Mon, Robert Montgomery, Edwin Morgan, Gustav Morin, Rick Myers, Clemente Padin, Tom Phillips, Décio Pignatari, Jörg Piringer, Cia Rinne, Colin Sackett, Aram Saroyan, Richard Skelton, W. Mark Sutherland, Greg Thomas, Nick Thurston, Sue Tompkins, Andrew Topel, Cecil Touchon, Barrie Tullett, André Vallias, Nico Vassilakis, Emmanuelle Waeckerlé, Sam Winston, Cerith Wyn Evans, Ercan y Yılmaz and Eric Zboya.

POOR. OLD. TIRED. HORSE. AT THE ICA

I was on a panel discussing What was/is Concrete Poetry? with Peter Finch and Arnaud Desjardin which took place on 1st July 2009. I also curated an evening of performances called xprmntl ptry with performances which included Peter Finch, Geraldine Monk and Jeremy Reed with The Ginger Light. My poem 'Recession' was used on the flier for the exhibition.






VISUAL POETICS EXHIBITION

I co-curated, with David Miller, the Visual Poetics exhibition at the Poetry Library which took place between February and May 2013. Featured poets and artists included John Furnival, Caroline Bergvall, Liliane Lijn, David Miller, John Gibbens, John Hall, Sarah Kelly, Hansjorg Mayer, Alan Halsey, Gavin Selerie, Julie Johnstone, James Harvey, Giles Goodland, Sophie Herxheimer, matt martin, Bob Cobbing, Dom Sylvester Houédard, Thomas A. Clark, Laurie Clark, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Gad Hollander, Victoria Bean, Tony Lopez, Sam Winston, Rick Myers, Karen Bleitz, Wayne Clements, Antonio Claudio Carvalho, Paula Claire, Stephen Emmerson, Simon Cutts and Edwin Morgan. http://www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/exhibitions/past/?id=69

Visual Poetics exhibition, 2013



CLOTTED SUN

This project was undertaken in summer 2013 as a commission for the Curious trail at West Norwood Cemetery to create new work in response to the dead. I decided to research the dead poets in the cemetery and to take two words from one of their poems to have etched into the stones, such as this one below for Demetrios Capetanakis:

Each stone was then taken and placed back on the grave, or site of the burial, of each poet.

Stone placed on Demetrios Capetanakis' grave


This project became part of the narrative of my book In the Catacombs: a Summer Among the Dead Poets of West Norwood Cemetery, published by Penned in the Margins (2014), an extract of which can be read here

A limited edition book was created, working with the Henningham Family Press, under the title Clotted Sun. Some lovely images here. The book is a portfolio which contains a life-size reproduction of each stone on card and a map of the cemetery showing the poets' burial locations. The book was published as an edition of 50 (10 of which are deluxe and include a gold-coloured deboss of the Clotted Sun card). Some copies are still available for £40 (email chrismccabe17@hotmail.com for enquiries).

Copies of Clotted Sun



PHARMAPOETICA

Pharmapoetica is a collaborative project with Maria Vlotides which was shortlisted for the 2014 Ted Hughes Award. I have written about this project on my blog here . The ten poems about herbs were written to be displayed as labels on apothecary jars which are then contained in a cabinet. The Londonist created a podcast about this in January 2014 which can be heard here. Copies of the book are available from Pedestrian Publishing here.

Ten poems about herbs as labels on apothecary jars


GENESIS

This is a sequence in which the narrative of Genesis has been rewritten through omitting letters that already exist in the text to create new meanings and a new visual dimension. The sequence is indebted to Edwin Morgan's 'emergent' poems in which he created the technique of using a pre-exisiting line in literature to allow new meanings to form through the letters used in that line. Genesis, however, is de-emergent in that the existing line appears first and the new meanings become increasingly atomised from the letters available for use. The whole sequence creates a new account of how the world began, suggesting the star constellations born of the Big Bang.


In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth
 
    he begin      o  create      heave  and  he ear
   the  eg     g       eat   the                earth
    th    inning      re   d     hea               rt
i   the be  ni g                      n          art
    he    in   g      reat               n      eat
   th                 rea  d
       beg              at                  the 
    h                              aven and the
        be   ing        at
     e                              ven      he  a t 
   the   gi    g Go      t
                                 heave          e
   the      n                the
    he      n            at                     e
   the  eg     g




THE DEDALUS POEMS

The Dedalus Poems is published in an edition of 100, 26 of which are hardback and signed (priced at £70) and 74 are paperback (priced at £30). Books can be ordered from moxham.ulyssesart@gmail.com

This is a piece from the book which is based on James Joyce's Ulysses (I've written on poems for sale about my obsession with Ulysses here). This piece, called The Fertility of the Question is made using two characters  - a question mark and the letter 'o' - and responds to the moment in the novel where Leopold Bloom goes to the offices of the Freeman's Journal to have an ad placed in the paper; the editor wants him to place this on a three month renewal but Bloom's client only wants two. Bloom has to negotiate the back-and-forth questions between the two parties. Bloom is aware that his wife Molly has a 4pm assignation with her lover Blazes Boylan and Bloom himself is carrying a letter from a woman he's started to write to called Martha, who has asked him about what kind of perfume Molly likes to wear.




AEOLUS

This limited print of 50 was made at Plymouth Art College for the occasion of my Bloomsday reading at the Language Club (organised by Norman Jope and Steve Spence) on 16th June 2016. The print is of the image above from my Dedalus sequence. The print is blind embossed photopolymer plate on Somerset Satin Grey Velvet 280gsm. The print is deliberately very minimal using a blind deboss to suggest the impact of James Joyce's near blindness on his work.




THE AFFAIRS OF DYLAN THOMAS 

A book of collages published by Red Fox Press, available here 

This is a sequence of 16 collages created in Wales, on the Llyn Peninsula, in August 2015. The sequence is a parody on the obsession with writer's lives and documents Dylan Thomas' numerous affairs in relation to the Muse-Goddess figure the White Goddess, as outlined in Robert Graves's book The White Goddess. The images were created using materials given to me by artist Sophie Herxheimer along with found materials on the holiday campsite and were fixed using almond paste and thick textured card. 





VOCALS

I've become interested in painting typefaces, using colour to bring out the character of each font. These were painted with watercolours in Barcelona over the week of my 40th birthday, early August 2017.







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