Concrete Poetry and the New Performance Arts: Intersemiotic, Intermedia, Intercultural

  • Claus Clüver


At least eleven international anthologies published between 1965 and 1970 in Germany, England, the United States, Mexico, Italy, and the Netherlands carried the label “Concrete poetry” (in their respective languages).1 The most lavish, Mary Ellen Solt’s Concrete Poetry:A World View (1968), showed samples of the work of seventy-nine poets from seventeen European countries as well as Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, the United States, Canada, and Japan. The last to be published was the catalogue of an exhibition, “klankteksten / ? konkrete poëzie / visuele teksten,” organized in 1970 by Liesbeth Crommelin for the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, from where it was to go to Stuttgart and Nürnberg and then to Liverpool and Oxford. It presented the work of 140 visual poets, including nine from Japan, and was accompanied by a record with “Concrete Sound Poetry” by nine poets/performers. There were apparently no poets from other Far Eastern countries involved in this movement that had begun in the early 1950s in several European countries and Brazil, had received its name in 1956 in an act of transatlantic baptism via correspondence between Eugen Gomringer, a Swiss-Bolivian poet living in Germany, and the “Noigan-dres” poets, a group of young men from São Paulo,2 had manifested itself in numerous exhibitions and performances, and by 1970 was considered to have run its course.3


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  1. 1.
    The anthologies by year are: Max Bense and Elisabeth Walther, eds., Konkrete poésie international, rot (Stuttgart, 1965) no. 21Google Scholar
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© Claire Sponsler and Xiaomei Chen 2000

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  • Claus Clüver

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