Are These "Envelope Poems" By Dickinson Considered Vispo or Concrete?

My mother gifted me the envelope poems book for the holidays this year and it was ll I could do not to just rip out all the pages and send them all to you out there-I CAN be a bit of a destructive/deconstructive force when it comes to really juicy stuff like this my heart leaps and jumps out there are no words just a book-skeleton and my studio wall-collage. ANYHOW: this is only my 1st homage to her and these shreds. They are such remnants, so saved over so many many quiet long years! "One note from one bird" = one of the ost epicly understated openings to a poem...Just ONEmnot from only ONE bird, not the endless flock? Enjoy these with me!

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Comment by Hilary Konrad on February 11, 2021 at 10:41pm

My apologies for seemingly ducking out of the conversation, this makes twice now so you guys should know the truth. First though, Sloan: you can forget about any kind of visit or involvement from my mother. The reality is that it wouldn't serve the purpose it's set out to serve-I won't say much more but that she is STUBBORN. But no worries either although I appreciate your concern-I am not in trouble with "faux trash" people-at least "I don't think I am, I hope I'm not...

Anyways to all who send me mail regularly: I have not been well. It is the only thing that can succeed in distracting me from mail art. It is the bain of my exitence. Anyway I am currently receiving a new experimental treatment and it's also affecting my ability to type, which is frustrating on these discussions and forums. Oh yeah I almost forgot to say this too: both my phone and laptop are on their last legs right nwo, so if I" totally disappear at some point in the near future that is why...(I'll still be with you through the mail and am trying to figure all this out)

To richard c: thank you thank you thank you: your mail keeps me buoyed!!!

And to Mr. Sloan: I am psyched and honored to have received the add and passes. I will make you proud! Thanks...

More Soon,


Comment by De Villo Sloan on February 4, 2021 at 5:12pm

BTW - I thought Hilary's mother was going to come to IUOMA to talk to us? I don't remember what it was about but seemed important at the time.

Is Hilary in trouble with faux trash people?

Comment by De Villo Sloan on February 4, 2021 at 5:09pm

Thank you, Richard. You are so humble! You probably know more about concrete poetry than most of us on this platform in space from which we launch our missives to Earth.

This genre stuff is very complicated & more the realm of critics & academics. Yet on FB there are daily skirmishes about whether something is vispo or concrete, if asemic writing really exists (then what is it?) & little actual attention to the work. Yoma-Ning is actually better imho.

I've blocked old friends on FB like Pete Spence and dorfs like Mork Bloak so I'm not arguing with them all day. Yet that is pretty much the way of poetry, as I've found it. As Ron Silliman said, "I soon discovered poetry is a contact sport."

I always say if you like image-text, just make it and follow your heart. I can safely say that art derived from theory usually fizzles or blows up on the launch pad.

I want sincere people to share whatever they like in the Asemic Writing for Mail Artists group. We'll work it out from their in a supportive way.

That said, "Typewriter Art" is this interesting Outsider Art made often by eccentric typists & exploited workers in the 20th century. It attempts to be representational. It's not necessarily concrete poetry as it has evolved in the West. But it can be, depending on the piece.

Concrete poetry is associated w/ the typewriter because a "Golden Age" of global concrete poetry took place in the 50s, 60s, 70s when typewriters were the main mode of production. Concrete poetry does not need to be made on a typewriter. It has more to do with form and seeing language as material. We see concrete poetry using collage. A lot of us are enjoying finding old typewriters & seeing what we can make. But that's akin to a musician finding a zither or some old instrument and seeing what it will do.

BTW - the vispo we know today started in the 80s w/ folks like Meikal & the Bennetts, thus another child of our network.

Dick Higgins' book on pattern poetry is a great resource.

BTW I was given a book of Jonathan Williams' photos - enjoying it very much.

Comment by Richard Canard on February 4, 2021 at 3:26am

03.02.21 Dare Ms. Hilary Konrad (& also Mister DeVillo Sloan)....thank you for the introduction to "Envelope Poems"  (E.Dickinson)  & the brief but informative explanation of Concrete Poetry (shape,visual & pattern). I really enjoy this sort of  thing & wish to know more. SinCelery, Richard Canard........... Post Scriptum:  Ms. Elly Dallas of Los Angeles sent a couple examples of "typewriter art" my way recently. I thought they were terrific but don't know whether to call them concrete or typewriter drawings. If she can find the time, I'm hoping she will send more.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on February 3, 2021 at 7:53pm

imho it can be viewed as concrete poetry. Concrete poetry is also know as "shape poetry"  or "pattern poetry." The words ideally make a shape that reflects the content of the poem. A really lame example I made up









Current concrete poetry has gotten more abstract in terms of shapes. Some people associate "typewriter art" with concrete poetry.

Fluxus has had a big impact on mail art, and the earlier Fluxus folks were champions of visual poetry. So a lot of visual poets are connected to the network.

Did Emily say, "I'm going to write a concrete poem today"? Unlikely, since the term didn't exist, but there is a history of what we now understand as concrete poetry going back thousands of years across cultures.

The term "visual poetry," I think, has become a sort of catch-all that includes concrete poetry, works that meld text and image, sometimes just composed of visual images. Now we can add asemics to the visual poetry tree, that's how I see it anyway.

Jim Leftwich prefers to call it all "image-text," which is a way to avoid all the nit-picking.



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