Documents of Women in Concrete Poetry: 1959-79
Part Three

The editorial journey continues around the production of the volume Women in Concrete Poetry: 1959-79 (Primary Information, 2020), focusing on women in the field of concrete poetry in the 1960s and 1970s. The two editors of the publication, Alex Balgiu and Mónica de la Torre, share the background leading to the creation of this volume, which also includes work by Patrizia Vicinelli, the poet from Bologna featured in the exhibition Chi ha paura di Patrizia Vicinelli.

 

The second item from this series is our copy of Colleen Thibaudeau’s Lozenges: Poems in the Shapes of Things (London, Ontario: Alphabet Press, 1965).

It was described by the bookseller whom we bought it from as: “two unbound and uncut pages, possibly first run test sheets, consisting of eight folded pages each. No staple holes. The pages have light creasing and an ink smudge to what would appear to be the last page. Possibly a file copy.”

Indeed, once we received the document, it was quite moving to feel the life of these unbound pages, especially seeing the ink marks and tiny scratches, they seemed fresh off the press. Unfolding those felt as if we were suddenly attending the process of book-making and being present together with Colleen in the workshop.

 

The simplicity and essential quality of these sheets, solely activated by the folds somehow emphasized the vibrance of these poems and their joyous dynamics. A publication without a cover, through its fragility and directness, addresses us with genuine, concrete playfulness.

A book of poems that shows how a books of poems is made.

Lastly, freed of binding, the work appears to have an infinite amount of pages. As readers, we are compelled to eternally play and assemble the pages differently, recomposing spreads or just appreciating these shapes parading along the sheet.

The parade of language, in front of our eyes.