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CFP: MATLIT, vol. 7.1 (2019) Experimental Poetry Networks: Material Circulations

Editors: Pauline Bachmann (Universität Zürich); Jasmin Wrobel (Freie Universität Berlin)

The 1950s Neo-Avant-Gardes experimented for the first time with artistic-poetic artefacts that transcended and challenged definitions and limits of literature and visual arts. Concrete Poetry became an international movement that worked upon the experimental writing heritage of icons such as Mallarmé, Joyce and Cummings integrating visual and material practices into poetry. During the 1970s and 1980s experimental poetry evolved as an international and also highly collaborative practice ranging from visual, sound and installation to performative formats. The reception of these radical poetic practices also oscillates between literature and art: poems appear often in magazines with highly experimental formats or are exhibited in galleries as artworks, performances or happenings.

Strikingly, experimental poetry proliferated in politically contrarian climates and sought for global connection. The chasm between technological modernization and extreme social inequality was a visible expression of such contradictions, especially in Latin America. Societies were flooded with industrially produced goods to which only a small part of the population had access. Radio, TV and color print media increased the circulation of information while repressive regimes in many Latin American countries, the Iberian Peninsula and Eastern Europe practiced a harsh censorship. Yet, the experimental practices also became a strong current in democratic western European countries, such as Italy, France and the Netherlands where the use of new materials and the exchange with international colleagues came into focus.

During these years, experimental poetry overlapped largely, with mail art and even established the first mail art circles in Latin America. Poetry’s entanglement with its material and technological media became an essential characteristic. The Xerox copy, for example, became an important technological medium for experimental poetic practices. From the mid-1990s on, experimental poetry increasingly explored the possibilities of the digital. Yet, we find up until today analogue practices that intervene on the physical material, such as Carlito Azevedo’s Manual da Pedra (2013) or Daniel Monteiro’s Rodapé Literário (2013).

MATLIT’s volume 7.1 seeks contributions dealing with analogue experimental poetic practices – both historical (starting in the 1950s) and contemporary – that dialogue with the social reality they were created in and/or highlight the networked character of experimental poetry, even across linguistic barriers. The goal is to gather texts that interrogate experimental poetic practices not only within the time frame and space in which each poet worked but to offer a perspective on the intersections of its networked character, material reality and presence of the body (as in the case of performance poetry, for instance). We are also interested in articles that inquire how far the development of the digital age has changed and influenced analogue production and its networked character.
Possible topics may include (but are not limited to):
• Experimental poetry’s relation to mail art circles
• The role of exhibitions and magazines in international collaboration
• Relations between international collaboration and national/local culture and political situation
• Intermedia and interdisciplinary collaborations
• Interlinguistic collaborations and exchanges
• Materiality and negotiations between analogue and digital practices
• Analogue experimental poetry in the digital era

DEADLINE: Article submissions will be due on December 31, 2018, with notifications of acceptance by April 30, 2019. MATLIT publishes articles in the following languages: Portuguese, English, and Spanish. Authors must register and upload their files through the journal platform. Please register here via 'External Link' below.

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