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offsite project:
danwaber.com
 

I saw something in March of 2009 that really irked me, and rather than complain about the darkness, I decided to light a candle of refutation.

There is a letter to the editor in the February 2009 issue of Poetry that reads:

Dear Editor,

Thank you for the special full-color puzzle section in your November issue [“Twelve Visual Poems”]. Look, let’s call “visual poetry” what it really is—visual art. Some of us are in love with language and the way in which words—just words—can be put together in relationships that say something. Let’s not continue to water down the concept of poetry any more than it already has been.

Jerry Payne
Clearwater, Florida

This is a reader who hasn’t spent enough time looking closely at poetry to be able to differentiate its subtleties. I made a tool to help re-educamate reactionaries like this.

What you’ll find here is a growing selection of pieces that are intended to be difficult for anyone to say they do not depend on a visual element, and, difficult to say they are visual art. It is my contention that a poetry that is “just words” is ridiculous; once the poem is put onto the page (or into speech, but that’s another issue) it becomes a visual event, and it is reasonable to debate what degree of the visual one finds acceptable in their poetry, but it is not reasonable to deny that all poetry (on the page) is inherently visual. That’s just silly to anyone willing to open their eyes and allow their minds to follow.

Select from the numerals on the left. Feel free to cast your vote, but, really this site isn’t about the vote. It’s about challenging pre-existing categorical structures by providing difficult to pigeon-hole cases from throughout contemporary and historical poetic practices.