ANTHOLOGY OF CONCRETE POETRY edited by Emmett Williams
Something Else Press, 1967 First edition, 342 pp., 6 1/2" X 9 1/2" Hardcover
Published by the legendary Something Else Press in 1967, An Anthology of Concrete Poetry was the first American anthology on the international movement of Concrete poetry. The movement itself began in the early 1950s, in Germany--through Eugen Gomringer, who borrowed the term "concrete" from the art of his mentor, Max Bill--and in Brazil, through the Noigandres group, which included the de Campos brothers and Decio Pignatari. Over the course of the 1960s it exploded across Europe, America and Japan, as other protagonists of the movement emerged, such as Dieter Roth, Öyvind Fahlström, Ernst Jandl, bpNichol, Mary Ellen Solt, Jackson Mac Low, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Bob Cobbing, Dom Sylvester Houédard, Pierre Garnier, Henri Chopin, Brion Gysin and Kitasono Katue. By the late 1960s, poet Jonathan Williams could proclaim: "If there is such a thing as a worldwide movement in the art of poetry, Concrete is it." The work of the 77 writers collected in this anthology varies greatly in its aims and forms, but all can be said to emphasize the visual dimension of language, manipulating individual letters and minimal semantic units to produce poems that are for contemplating as much as for reading. Emmett Williams, the book’s editor, added explanatory commentary for the poems and biographies of their authors, making this volume--long out of print--the definitive anthology of this movement, which has so influenced artists and writers of subsequent generations.