(Visual) Poet

Cover of iu, my latest book

Cover of iu, my latest book

iu

My most recent book of visual poetry, iu, has just been released by Xerolage, an imprint of mIEKAL aND’s Xexoxial Editions.

iu explores that most hieroglyphic of letterforms, I, as both a graphic and a semantic object, complicating, accepting, rejecting, and recasting the seemingly seamless conflation of the word/letter with its meaning, signifier with signified.

From the introduction

We are used to thinking of letters as merely media, as windows through which some message is conveyed without interference. They are the superconductors of significance, channels devoid of impedance or static, through which content is, ideally, passed with crystal clarity. This is perhaps most obviously true of the letter I, which has become so concretely associated with individual identity that it has practically disappeared as its own entity. The shape itself reinforces this disappearance; of all the letterforms it is perhaps the sparest, the most Spartan. Compounding this is the fact that it lends itself so easily to the conflation of form and content—it is, unlike most single letters, a word, and one that abstractly yet forcefully resembles its referent. It is the human form in hieroglyph, a body inscribed.

iu seeks to accept, complicate and reject this conflation, this crystal-clear union of sign and signifier. In accepting the sparest of letterforms as its subject, then attempting to create a wide variety of forms out of this simple cloth, the book embraces the generativity of restriction. At the same time, it attempts to explore the multifarious and complex meanings of identity and individuality through simple, iconic forms. Many of the pieces employ the archetypal forms and arrangements of the comic book, that most lyric and identity-obsessed of popular fiction forms, while others work through more concrete arrangements, attempting to graphically depict the semantic content in much the same way the letterform itself does. Oh, and then there’s the letter U, which our shorthand age has rendered nearly as pictographic as I.

Cover of this is visual poetry by John Moore Williamsthis is visual poetry by John Moore Williams

A full-color chapbook of visual poems, my personal installment in a fantastic series of books curated by visual poet Dan Waber. The this is visual poetry series seeks to provide a kind of definition of visual poetry through the only logical means available: through the work itself.

Approximately 70 poet/artists have contributed to the series already, and the list seems to be growing all the time. A fascinating resource on what visual poetry is now, who is creating it, how they are doing it, and why.

this is visual poetry by John Moore Williams is, to date, my only full-color book of visual poetry.

Cover of I discover i is an android, artwork by Matina StamatakisI discover i is an android

I discover i is an android is a book of experimental poems at play with distinctions between prose and poetry, narrative and automatic texts, and organic and artificial intelligence. You can read a short excerpt here, and purchase it from Trainwreck Press using the link above.

Novelist and literary agent provocateur Kane X. Faucher was kind enough to discuss the work with me at length, as well as to provide an in-depth review insightfully discussing the works’ major concerns.

Xenomorphia

Written in collaboration with Matina Stamatakis, Xenomorphia (opens PDF) is, to my mind, a sort of love letter to language’s imagistic power and sensuality. It’s also the first book cover I ever designed.

You can pick it up free from Wheelhouse Magazine.

sample poem from writ10writ10

“…language…gives all of itself in each of its fragments”
—Roberto Colasso

This short text marks the beginning of my explorations of language as a graphic object. Ripping and tearing at the atomic particles of syllables, it rearranges and reforms words into new constellations, creating a kind of Frankenstein’s monster of the semantic. writ10 (opens PDF) is available free from VUGG, a press edited by the esteemed poets Jim Leftwich and Jukka-Pekka Kervinen.

Cover of [+!][+!]

Written in collaboration with Matina Stamatakis and Kane Faucher.

“[+!] is a post-code-poetry experiment, making de-composition into re-composition… art in it’s truest sense… a bizarre, compelling, visually stunning, important work. Lysicology may not be a part of your lexicon now but it will be…”
—Lucindo Anthony (Author, A Disease of Poetry)

In addition to contributing visual and linear poems for this text, I also laid out the interior. It is available in hard- and softcover formats, as well as digital download.