Brown invents a type of slapstick poetic burlesque. Calling it visual poetry is too staid and decorous; call it scratch & scrawl.
I am happy to announce that this week Roving Eye Press officially re-printed Bob Brown’s experimental book of poetry 1450-1950. Originally published in 1929, the book is a collection of hand-written, “optical” poems.” This parodic set of “scratches” extends and challenges the legacy Gutenberg’s standardized type set and blurs the boundaries between scribbles, art, and literature. In this new edition, scholar and Brown biographer Craig Saper offers a new introduction to the work with several new contributions from artists, poets, and critics paying homage to Brown’s impact on the Beat movement, LANGUAGE poetry, and the field of digital modernism.
Rarely does a project come along that is so much fun… a work that flouts the pretensions of poetry and publishing and instead reminds us, indulges in, why we first wanted to write in the first place: to play, to laugh, to share with friends (and find new friends). I am so grateful to be a part of this project and appreciate the group of artists, writers, and poets who contributed to this new edition: Anna Banana, Charles Bernstein, Amaranth Borsuk, Jonathan Eburne, Jeremy Braddock, and Kaja Marczewska. Special thanks, as always, to Craig Saper, my dissertation advisor and the editor of this title, for his ingenuity and creative spirit for first suggesting the (re)creation of Brown’s Roving Eye.