Visual poetry, is
poetryor artin which the visual arrangement of text, images and symbols is important in conveying the intended effect of the work. It is sometimes referred to as concrete poetry, a term that predates visual poetry, and at one time was synonymous with it.
Visual poetry was heavily influenced by
Fluxus, which is usually described as being Intermedia. Intermedia work tends to blur the distinctions between different media, and visual poetry blurs the distinction between art and text. Whereas concrete poetry is still recognizable as poetry, being composed of purely typographic elements, visual poetry is generally much less text-dependent. Visual poems incorporate text, but the text may have primarily a visual function. Visual poems often incorporate significant amounts of non-text imagery in addition to text.
It should be noted here that there remains some debate regarding the distinction between concrete poetry and visual poetry. There are three dominant views regarding the issue. One view is that visual poetry is synonymous with concrete poetry. A second view is that visual poetry is a type (or sub-category) of concrete poetry. And the last view (adopted in this article) is that visual poetry has evolved into a visual form distinct from concrete poetry. This view is supported by work identified as visual poetry in which typographic elements are secondary to visual elements, are minimal, or in some cases are absent altogether from the work.
List of concrete and visual poets
Something Else Press
*Willard Bohn: "The Aesthetics of Visual Poetry, 1914-1928." University Of Chicago Press, 1993
Dick Higgins: "Synesthesia and Intersenses: Intermedia." 1965, Originally published in Something Else Newsletter 1, No. 1 (Something Else Press, 1966). Also published as a chapter in Dick Higgins, Horizons, the Poetics and Theory of the Intermedia (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois Univ. Press, 1984).
Litsa Spathi: "Rail Track." 2008, Originally published by Fluxus Heidelberg Center, 2008
* [http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/dencker/denckere.htm From Concrete to Visual Poetry by Klaus Peter Dencker]
* [http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/kaldron.htm Kaldron Magazine Archives]
* [http://www.ubu.com/ UbuWeb, which hosts a large amount of concrete poetry]
* [http://www.rediscov.com/sackner.htm The Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry]
* [http://www.ubu.com/papers/higgins_intermedia.html Synesthesia and Intersenses: Intermedia an essay by Dick Higgins]
* [http://www.e-motive.org.uk e-motive: Visual Poetry in the Digital Age]
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