Blocks an artist’s book of concrete-visual poetry by IUOMA member Rebecca Resinski (Conway, Arkansas, USA)
July 25, 2018 - Rebecca Resinski is an Asemic Front contributor, and I am thrilled to be able to share her artist’s book Blocks, a superb collection of traditional concrete poetry released under her Cuckoo Grey publishing imprint.
I emphasize the artist’s book aspect because Blocks is a harmonious melding of form and content on several levels. The book is beautiful to view and transforms the text into something akin to a three-dimensional language structure. The poetry is limited to four panels, but it is the book-as-art-object perspective that makes Blocks a compositional and conceptual triumph. We are compelled to apply a new way of “reading.” Rebecca Resinski reveals concrete poetry is derived from Classicism as much as it is from the revolutionary avant garde with which it is most commonly associated. Blocks is an aesthetic triumph of simplicity, clarity and calm.
At least one strain of concrete poetry (derived from Europe and Latin America) emphasizes the materiality of language in the theory that explicates this unique but persistent form. I believe the success of Resinski’s Blocks is largely based on its materiality, which in this case is tied to the actual book form. The square poem structures (given linearity through a loose alphabet structure) are based more on geometry and numerics than poetic form – say – the sonnet. They provide cohesion to the physical panels and folds. The usual abstraction of conventional “reading” is replaced by the physical experience of pages, folds, touch, fonts – a needed contrast of presence to the digital age.
Blocks an artist’s book of concrete-visual poetry by Rebecca Resinski (Cuckoo Grey 2017)