This expansive volume is the first collection of concrete poetry by women, with artists and poets from the US, Latin America, Europe and Japan, whose work departs from more programmatic approaches to the genre. Their word-image compositions are unified by an experimental impetus and a radical questioning of the transparency of the word and its traditional arrangement on the page.
Owing, perhaps, to the fact that concrete poetry’s attempt to revolutionize poetry foregrounded the male-dominated channels in which it circulated, some of the women in this volume—Ilse Garnier or Giulia Niccolai, for instance—were active in the movement’s epicenters, yet failed to attain a visibility or ample representation in international anthologies such as Emmett Williams’s Anthology of Concrete Poetry (1967) and Mary Ellen Solt’s Concrete Poetry: A World View (1968).
This anthology celebrates their legacy and recontextualizes word-image compositions by other figures working independently. It gathers work by over 40 writers and artists, including Lenora de Barros (Brazil), Mirella Bentivoglio (Italy), Amanda Berenguer (Uruguay), Suzanne Bernard (France), Tomaso Binga (Italy), Blanca Calparsoro (Spain), Paula Claire (UK), Betty Danon (Turkey), Mirtha Dermisache (Argentina), Ilse Garnier (France), Anna Bella Geiger (Brazil), Bohumila Grögerová (Czech Republic), Ana Hatherly (Portugal), Susan Howe (USA), Tamara Jankovic (Serbia), Annalies Klophaus (Germany), Barbara Kozlowska (Poland), Liliana Landi (Italy), Liliane Lijn (USA), Françoise Mairey (France), Giulia Niccolai (Italy), Jennifer Pike (UK), Giovanna Sandri (Italy), Mira Schendel (Brazil), Chima Sunada (Japan), Mary Ellen Solt (USA), Salette Tavares (Portugal), Colleen Thibaudeau (Canada), Rosmarie Waldrop (USA) and Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt (Germany).