I first encountered John Taggart’s work while living in Boulder, Colorado, circa 1990. A now long-vanished indie bookstore, the Aion, which had a remarkably rich poetry collection (oh, for the era of real booksellers!), actually called me to say they had a few books I might like.
George Oppen’s poetry first caught the eye of Charles Tomlinson when he singled out The Materials from a number of books that had been sent to him for review. It was a momentous discovery, leading to a prompt exchange of letters and their first meeting, followed by a steadily deepening friendship that lasted until Oppen’s death in 1984.
Visual poetry is an odd egg: it never seems to extinguish. It continues at the periphery, way back in the corner of our literary eye. Possibly surprising is that many poets around the world have a thriving fascination with text as visual material. Perhaps vispoets stare at words longer than most, but their work is enmeshed in the design elements found in the alphabet and in symbols generally.