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The Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry

Ninth Revision October 2011


Ruth and Marvin Sackner founded the Archive in Miami Beach, Florida in 1979, later moving it to Miami, Florida in 2005. Its initial mission was to establish a collection of books, critical texts, periodicals, ephemera, prints, drawings, collages, paintings, sculptures, objects, manuscripts, and correspondence dealing with precedent and contemporary, internationally produced, concrete and visual poetry. The antecedent material had at its starting point, Stephane Mallarme’s poem, “Un Coup de Des” (Cosmopolis, 1897). The historic examples included works with concrete/visual poetic sensibilities from such twentieth century art movements as Italian Futurism, Russian and Eastern European Avant Garde, Dada, Surrealism, Bauhaus, De Stijl, Ultra, Tabu-Dada, Lettrisme, and Ultra-Lettrisme.

The initiators of the contemporary, international, concrete poetic movement included Öyvind Fahlstrom (1953), Eugen Gomringer (1953) and the Noigandres Group, i.e., Augusto De Campos, Haroldo De Campos, and Decio Pignatari (1955). The Sackners collected their works as well as those of subsequent poets and over the years expanded the scope of the Archive to include unique or small edition artist books that integrated text and image or consisted of experimental typography. They added examples of typewriter art and poetry, experimental calligraphy, correspondence art, stamp art, sound poetry, performance poetry, micrography, assembling periodicals, ‘zines,’ graphic design, and artist magazines as well as conventional poetry and prose written by concrete/visual poets and artists in the collection. Further, they collected experimental typographic, text and image works from such contemporary art movements as Fluxus, Transfuturism, and Inism. They included experimental fictional and non-fictional books with uniquely designed layouts such as Raymond Federman’s “Double or Nothing,” Alasdair Gray’s “1982 Janine,” B.E. Johnson’s “House Mother Normal: A Geriatric Comedy,” Avital Ronell's "The Telephone Book," and Mark Z. Danielewski’s “House of Leaves.” Pre-twentieth century examples of pattern poetry were added to the Archive such as Rabanus Maurus’ “Liber de Laudibus Sanctae Crucis” (1503) and Publili Optatiani Porfyrii’s “Panegyricus Dictus Constantino Augusto” (1595). The Sackners collected manuscripts, sketchbooks and letters written by poets and artists. In 2008, Linda Bandt Depew donated a large collection of books, manuscripts, drawings, prints and photographs made by her deceased husband, Wally Depew. The Archive has evolved into a word/image poetic and artistic resource rather than a restricted collection of concrete and visual poetry. In March 2005, the Sackner Archive moved from their house in Miami Beach to a two story apartment in Miami. The floor space of this new dwelling is comparable to the house but the layouts are very different. In the house, books were displayed in two large libraries. But with limited space to show books and much greater wall space in the apartment, artworks now dominate the display.

We have retained copies of the correspondence to and from dealers, curators, artists, poets and critics since the collection was formed. None of this correspondence has yet been catalogued. Yes! The Sackners do all the cataloging of their collection. We chose to call our collection an ‘Archive’ because an Archive includes correspondence, documentation and ephemeral material as well as core items of the collection. With the growth of the collection, the Sackner Archive took on features of an Archive of Archives. This direction might have subconsciously originated from our attendance at the blockbuster exhibitions held at Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris: PARIS-NEW YORK (1977), PARIS-BERLIN 1900-1933 (1978), PARIS-MOSCOU, 1900-1930 (1979), and PARIS-PARIS 1937-1957 (1981). The wealth of background (archival) material was an eye-opener to us. It brought life to these inanimate works and put them into matters of the moment that often uncovered unforeseen links to others. We have enjoyed cultivating personal contacts with artists and poets or their relatives and friends whose works constitute an Archive beginning with the multi-dimensional artist, Tom Phillips, in 1975 and still ongoing today. Such documentation may be found in our catalogue (1986) published in an edition of 500 copies that unfortunately is long out of print and the movie ‘Concrete!’(2003) made by our daughter, Sara Sackner, that is available on DVD and on streaming video (http://www.ubu.com/film/sackner_concrete.html).        

Selected Categories of Works in the Archives of the Archive


The section below describes selected Archives that are grouped according to their major relationships to the Sackner Archive. They include books, original art or poetry work and correspondence either to the Sackners or other artists and poets as well as ephemera. One can locate records within the database on all of them but there is some material mentioned below that has not yet been catalogued.

Concrete Poets

Eugen Gomringer (Swiss) Augusto de Campos (Brazilian), Haraldo de Campos (Brazilian), Decio Pignatari (Brazilian), Öyvind Fahlstrom (Swedish). We have been fortunate to meet all these founders of the contemporary concrete poetry movement, e.g., Eugen Gomringer (1925-) – in Germany, Augusto de Campos (1931-) – in Sao Paolo and Miami, Haraldo de Campos (1929-2003) – in New Haven, Decio Pignatari (1927-) – in Sao Paolo and Miami but not Öyvind Fahlstrom (1928-1976) who died prior to our forming our Archive. However, we have established a continuing relationship with his widow, Sharon Avery-Fahlstrom, who curates his Archive at MACBA in Barcelona.

We have a continuing correspondence with Augusto de Campos since 1980 with the most recent exchange of letters in 2010. Augusto’s Archive consists of a fairly complete collection of trade edition books (27) that includes his first rare pre-concrete poetry book, “O Rei Menos o Reino”(1951), three typed letters to Dom Sylvester Houedard (1963-1964) as well as a manuscript of concrete poetry entitled ‘Tensao; (1963) that was intended for Gomringer’s periodical, ‘konkrete poesie poesia concreta’ but not published because the magazine ceased publication after the eleventh issue in 1964. Augusto’s Archive includes five portfolios of silkscreen and pop-up prints, seven offset prints, one Plexiglas poem object, two holographic sculptures and a great deal of ephemeral  material from newspaper articles and exhibition announcements. Finally, we hold a complete run of Noigandres (No.1 - No.5), a rare concrete poetry periodical that he edited from 1952 to 1962.

Visual Poetic Artist Books

Tom Phillips (British). ‘A Humument,’ by Tom Phillips’ (1937-) is his visual poetic intervention that consists of drawn, painted, collaged and typed images superimposed upon the pages of W. H. Mallock’s Victorian novel ‘A Human Document’ (1892). It epitomizes the very best and most beautiful of visual poetic artist books of the 20th and 21st century. We saw the original pages for the first time in 1974 displayed at a retrospective exhibition of Phillips’ work held in Kunsthalle Basel. We lingered at that exhibition for hours and returned the next day to see it again because we were so taken by it. We longed to purchase ‘A Humument’ but doubted that we could ever afford it since at this exhibition the prices of the works were available for review. But in 1984, armed with money from patent royalties for my invention of a medical device, we realized our dream. We entered into an arrangement with Tom to purchase not only his original altered copy of the book (1967-1973) that consisted of 367 pages of drawings but all drawings and prints for subsequent versions that he would produce. Our first purchase that would form ‘A Humument’ Archive was a suite of silkscreen prints in ten volumes (1970-1976) printed in 100 copies by Tetrad Press. We acquired the first trade edition of ‘A Humument’ (1980) that was printed by Edition Hansjorg Mayer and some pages of ‘A Humument’ drawings in addition to the 367 drawings in his original version. We also hold the 75 original drawings for ‘Trailer’ (1969-1971), a book done in a similar style as ‘A Humument’ that was published as a trade edition in 1971 by Edition Hansjorg Mayer. ‘Trailer’ was made from the reminders of a second copy of "A Human Document" that Phillips had purchased to make ‘Heart Of A Humument.’ The latter resulted in 132 new drawings from fragments of the original pages of the book. This book was released as a trade edition with offset printed pages in 1985 probably in about 2000 copies. We hold two copies of its limited edition of 50 copies (1984) with drawings from ‘A Humument’ incorporated into the front and back covers of the binding made by Pella Erskine-Tulloch. We have maintained our friendship with Tom since our first meeting in 1975 to the present through correspondence and have met each other in London, New York, Saint Louis, Princeton, and Miami on several occasions.

Handwritten Artist Books

Jack Hirschman (American), Sloy (American), Judith Copithorne (Canadian), Luciano Caruso (Italian), Timothy Ely (American) These poets utilize unusual or exquisite handwriting along with drawings to present       word-image content. Jack Hirschman (1933- ) is a poet, artist, book artist, linguist, translator and currently and for many years a poetic political activist for far left theoretical ideology. But in the 1960s and 1970s, he wrote long poems with a distinctive beautiful penmanship and ornamented them with painted Hebrew letters in the Kaballistic tradition. He lives in the North Beach section of San Francisco but travels extensively throughout Europe where he is often invited for poetry readings. He is among the most powerful and passionate readers of poetry we have ever heard. We first became aware of his work while browsing for books at Sand Dollar bookshop in Albany, California in 1979. We purchased 57 books, cards and broadsides by Hirschman from the shop, the first collection of an individual poet’s work to enter our Archive. We began corresponding with Jack in July 1979 and maintained it through 1998 approximately every three months. During that period, we entered into an arrangement with him to acquire manuscripts of his published and unpublished books, drawings (watercolor, acrylic paint, and pastels), and unique artist books. The manuscripts written in the Kaballistic tradition that have been very appealing to us include 1) ‘Aur Sea’ (1965-1969), London & Los Angeles, 39 large handwritten drawings with painted and collaged additions with a text that differs from the book with the same title (1974) but without the painted and collaged interventions, 2) ‘William Blake’ (1967), Los Angeles, 11 handwritten pages, and 3) ‘Jerusalem’ (1969-1974) London & Los Angeles, 78 large drawings with painted additions done in the style of ‘Aur Sea.’ We hold the manuscript of ‘Interchange for John Cage’ (1964), Los Angeles, 40 pages of handwriting and typewriting presented in the style of Mallarme’s ‘Un Coup de Des.’ Finally, we hold the manuscript and artwork for Jack Hirschman & Agneta Falk’s ‘A Fling of Two Die Never Will Abolish Chance’ (1997), San Francisco, based upon Hirschman’s translation of Mallarme’s Poem, ‘Un Coup de Des.’

Jack Hirschman’s oeuvre is one of the largest Archives within our Archive. Jack has annotated more than 300 of his artist books (each containing up to 75 drawings) and book objects in our Archive through correspondence with us. These books have calligraphic texts in English and other languages integrated with visual imagery. There are about 150 individual large format drawings based upon the Kaballistic tradition (1974-1978), 35 individual large format pastel drawings with political themes (1979-1980s), and 50 individual small format pastel drawings (1979-1980s) in his Archive. Finally, Hirschman’s Archive includes an Archive of correspondence with the poet, Bill Pearlman. We have met Jack in San Francisco, Miami, Milan and Verona and continue to remain in touch.

Sloy (1960-) first came to our attention when we saw a page of her experimental calligraphic text that was printed in Émigré magazine No.32, 1994. We contacted her by mail in 1995 and made our first purchase of one of her artist books. The experimental container for this book was made by her husband, Dave Nichols (‘Nic’), who fabricates containers for her books from industrial, corrugated cardboard. Nic takes the cardboard from commercially printed boxes and then fashions ingenious locking mechanisms. We hold seven unique artist books and book objects replete with her calligraphic ink and embroidered thread drawings and about 20 handwritten and/or embroidered individual drawings. Our favorite Sloy book is “Iron Fist in Yr Yellow Chakra” (1998) that consists of 103 cards in a handsome container made by her husband Nic. The book consists of calligraphic drawings, one to a card that repetitively presents the title phrase or a minor modification in extremely varied letter styles, sizes, and line densities using ink, paint, lipstick, and graphite. I consider these cards a masterpiece of experimental calligraphy. We spent a delightful day with Sloy and Dave at their house in Salem, Oregon in 2009 and there I learned the origin of her name. She told us that she signed her given name (Sandra Loy) to her earlier paintings as “s. loy.” But onlookers could not easily read the period after the ‘s’ of her last name and called her Sloy, a name that stuck to her as a nom de plume.

Judith Copithorne (1940-) has been composing concrete poetry in Vancouver, Canada since 1961. She has written several books that are held by us. Runes (1970) published by Coach House Press depicts representative examples of her “concrete,” handwritten & hand printed poems with varied fonts of the 1960s & 1970s. The words are not arranged linearly but float in space amid abstract flourishes in a distinctive Copithorne style. I am tempted to call them examples of visual poetry because of the added visual flourishes, More recently, she has eliminated the abstract flourishes and employed more formal lettering. I initiated a correspondence with her in 1989 to purchase original drawings. We have maintained this relationship and met during our visit to Vancouver in 2006. We hold seven drawings as well as 16 books and booklets.

Luciano Caruso (1944-2003) was a visual poet whose artist books integrated intricate handwritten words, often illegible but visual appealing with constructivist, abstract or semi-realistic images. Many of these books had pages that were stiffened with thick white paint. He staged many artist book exhibitions in Italy, edited a series of reprints of Italian Futurist publication and published and edited limited editions of visual poetry drawings, prints, booklets, and collages by himself and other poets. These publications included “Continuazione” (6 issues, 1970-1973), “Pattern” (16 issues, 1975-1976), “Le Brache di Gutenberg: Cronaca” (88 issues, 1979-1998). Our first purchase of his work was for issues of “Pattern,” a visual poetry booklet periodical at a Swiss bookshop in 1980. In 1982, we purchased three unique artist books that featured Caruso’s handwriting at a gallery in Rome. One was particularly interesting because the pages were collaged with visual-verbal strips of paper that were painted with an Iodine solution thereby making it an olfactory experience since the smell of Iodine has lingered to the present day! We met Luciano in 1984 at his home in Florence and several times thereafter and continued to acquire his artist books. We also maintained a correspondence up until the year he died. His Archive includes 32 of unique artist books (1967-1989), two series of small drawings with collaged elements, “Ritratto Degli Uomini Illustri” that consists 40 framed drawings that depict portrait caricatures in visual poetic terms of a poet or friend of Caruso and “i tarocchi / gli arcani maggori” that consists of 22 framed drawings that depict visual poetic interpretations of Tarot cards and two framed handwritten texts that annotate this work.

Timothy Ely (1949-) is one of the few artists in our Archive who has successfully combined experimental bookbinding with word-image content. He makes unique manuscript books that are lavishly painted and drawn visual narratives such as imaginary landscapes that often include maps, untranslatable hieroglyphics, and mathematical formulae, and deal with topics such as natural sciences, mathematics, architecture, and sacred geometry. He is influenced by comic books and the study of history, religion, and sociological and psychological phenomena. The works often include soil, sand, and other detritus from pertinent sites around the globe, metals, pigments, textiles, inks, and resins. We hold nine of these masterpieces of artist book design. We met him several times in New York City in the 1980s and carried on a correspondence when he lived there. However, when he moved to the Pacific Northwest in the mid-1990s, we lost touch until 2010 when we lent several books to his retrospective exhibition “Line of Sight” held at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Spokane Washington. In addition to his books, we hold seven painted drawings done in the same style as the pages of the books but mostly in larger dimensions.                                   


Emmett Williams (American), Jean-Francois Bory (French), Klaus-Peter Dencker (German). All three poets have edited major anthologies of concrete and visual poetry. Emmett Williams’ (1925-2007) book, “An Anthology of Concrete Poetry” (1967) was inspirational for our understanding the world-wide, concrete poetry movement. Our reading of his book led us to establish the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry in 1979. We met Emmett and his wife, Ann Noel, in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1979 and a year later purchased Williams’ Archive prior to their permanent move to Berlin. This Archive was the first one acquired by us and consisted of books, periodicals, and drawings by others as well as manuscripts by Emmett. We kept in touch over the years and last met in Berlin about three years prior to his death in 2007.

Jean-Francois Bory (1939-) is the author of “Once Again” (1968), an anthology of concrete and visual poetry translated from the French to English by Lee Hildreth. We first met in 1979 in New York City and have corresponded sporadically ever since then. In addition to his many books and edited periodicals, Bory’s Archive includes his correspondence with David W Harris aka David UU, the Canadian concrete poet, and five manuscripts of his visual poetic books, “Retour au Japon: calligrames et fragments de journal intime” (1996) that is a diary of Bory's trip to Japan along with 25 concrete and visual poems about his experience there, “Abracadada” (1997), a sketch book with chaotically arranged handwritten text that employs several colored inks and calligraphic styles, “Caillots & Lignes Deliees” (1997), a book that was apparently never editioned, “Berceau d'Apollinaire” (1997), a book dealing with the calligrammes of Apollinaire, and “Du meme auteur” (2000).

Klaus-Peter Dencker (1941-) is the author of two anthologies of concrete and visual poetry written in German, e.g., “Text-Bilder: Visuelle Poesia International” (1972) and “Optische Poesie; Von Den Prahistorischen Schriftzeichen Bis Zu den Digitalen Experimenten Der Gegenwart” (2011) We first met Klaus-Peter in New Orleans in 1979 where I was attending a medical conference and he was there to purchase an authentic banjo to play in a Hamburg Dixieland Jazz band. At that time, we purchased our first unique book, “Notebook” (1978) in which the pages consisted of letraset type and collaged images. In 2006, he published a limited edition of a densely illustrated book documenting his visual poems entitled Visuelle Poesie 1965-2005. Over the years, we have acquired several unique or limited editioned books by Klaus-Peter and have met in Miami, Saarbrucken and Hamburg.

Typewriter Poets

Dom Sylvester Houedard (British), Donato Cinicolo 3 (British), Henri Chopin (French), Willem Boshoff (South African), Carl Andre (American), William Jay Smith (American), Karl Kempton (American), David UU aka David Harris (Canadian), Shaunt Basmajian (Canadian), Leandro Katz (Argentine). These poets have relied upon the “almost obsolete typewriter” to produce “mind-bending,” concrete and visual poems, often with kinetic imagery. Their archives include original typewriter poems, books, manuscripts, and correspondence to other poets as well as the Sackners. All have produced outstanding bodies of work in this field as well as other genres of concrete poetry but two stand out for their innovative technical virtuosity, Dom Sylvester Houedard and Willem Boshoff. We met Dom Sylvester Houedard (1924-1992) for the first and only time in 1980 when during a visit to John Furnival (1933-) and his wife Astrid at their house in England. He was a monk who lived in Prinknash Abbey, close to the Furnivals. He was a delightful witty man who gave us an encyclopedic list of poets and artists that we should contact. He was a master of concrete poems that were manipulated with a typewriter as well as a creator of reversal drawings. His major work was accomplished in the 1960s and early 1970s. Later on, he was unable to continue typing owing to arthritis. We hold approximately 400 typed poems as well as two archives of Houedard’s typed correspondence to John J. Sharkey and Donato Cinicolo 3 (1969- ). Further, the Archive holds eight of his plexiglas laminated poem objects, over 75 watercolor semi-realistic figurative drawings (1952-1968), and 30 typewritten and/or handwritten manuscripts (1964-1971).        

We met Willem Boshoff (1941-) in 1996 at the NY City apartment of Tony Zwicker (1925-2000), an eminent dealer and curator who specialized in artist books with whom we had a long relationship since her first sale of an artist book was made to us in 1982. We purchase a number of Boshoff’s       works at that time and subsequently in Miami Beach when he visited us in 1997. The prize winner was a manuscript of 94 typed concrete poems along with the published book of “Kykafrikaans” (1980), the only typewritten, concrete poetry book in the Afrikaans language [1000 copies but now out of print] published in South Africa. Boshoff achieves fascinating, optical effects by weighting the density of typewritten letters in different portions of the poem through overtyping and creating diagonals by placement of the same letter in that direction. We rate “Kleinpen I” (1979-1980), a close second to “Kykafrikaans.” Here, Boshoff reduced Andrew Murray's book, "Prayer Life" that consisted of 364 printed pages to 6 pages of micrographic text. Boshoff wrote this book when he was an imprisoned conscientious objector to military service in South Africa. He did not wear magnifying glasses for writing it and spent 10 minutes each day transcribing the book as a semi-religious experience to maintain his sanity during his incarceration.

We have major collections of typewriter poems and unique or limited books incorporating typewriter poetry for  these distinguished poets whom we have met, corresponded, or spoke with on the telephone: Donato Cinicolo 3, Henri Chopin, Carl Andre, William Jay Smith, David UU aka David Harris, Shaunt Basmajian (1950-1990), Leandro Katz (1938-). In 1993, following a meeting with Clive Adams and Cinicolo 3 in London, Adams sold to us an archive of correspondence between Donato Cinicolo 3 (c.1951-) and Houedard. This consisted of 43 typed letters from Cinicolo 3 to Houedard often with stylistically, concrete poetic overtones. In addition, we acquired two unique books, “The Story So Far” (1970) with 100 typewritten concrete poems and “Green Book: something about nothing much atall” (1970) with 10 typewritten concrete poems. For the most part, Donato typed these poems on Olympia and Smith Corona manual machines.

We met Henri Chopin (1922-2008) in London in 1979 close to our founding of the Sackner Archive at a train station during his changing of trains as he was heading home and continued our relationship in person and correspondence up until he died in 2008. We hold 31 individual typed concrete or visual poems by Henri Chopin, two large typed concrete poetic scrolls (1987 & 1990), three unique artist books with 34 typed poems (1982, 1983, & 1984) as well as numerous prints and limited edition books. Further, we hold runs of his anthologies of concrete, visual and sound poetry publications that he edited or published from 1958 to 1979 These include an almost complete set of Cinquieme Saison and complete sets of Ou and Collection Ou along with their deluxe editions as well as four maquettes of Collection Ou that contain the original material and documentation.

We met Carl Andre (1935-) with Ana Mendieta, the artist who was his partner at the time, in Miami in 1982 and later on in New York City. We also had a brief correspondence with him. We hold a single unique typewriter poem and another that is colored photocopied in a limited edition as well as one of 36 copies of his seven loose leaf notebooks of photocopied concrete poetry printed in 1969 beginning with the signed copy “A Theory of Poetry (1960-1965).”

In 1984, we discovered that William Jay Smith (1918-), an American mainstream, poet, translator and writer had published a book of shaped typewriter poems in 1954 entitled “Typewriter Birds” near the beginning of the international concrete poetry movement. When we met him in New York City shortly thereafter, he was surprised that we consider these poems as historically significant as early examples of concrete and visual poems. We acquired the typed and annotated manuscript versions of this book from Bill and have continued to stay in touch with this remarkable man (93 years young and still traveling here and abroad for poetry readings).

We first contacted David UU (1948-1994) by mail through an introduction by jw curry and began to acquire examples of his typewriter poetry and ephemera at that time. In 1988, we purchased the manuscript of his collection of concrete typewriter poems, entitled “American Cross” (1966) that was typed under his give name, David W.Harris We consider these poems as among one of the strongest political statements made in this genre. We corresponded and spoke on the telephone a few times but lost track of him in 1992, two years before his untimely death.

Although we first collected Shaunt Basmajian’s (1950-1990) books in 1979, we did not establish contact with him during his lifetime. Toward the end of 1990, the year of his death, during a trip to Toronto, we arranged to meet his mother and sister at their home and purchased 50 of his typewriter poems and nine calligraphic concrete poetic drawings from them.

Clive Phillpot, the Head Librarian at MOMA in NYC in early 1987, first called our attention to the work of Leandro Katz (1938-) who is an experimental filmmaker, photographer and language artist. We visited him in his studio later that year where we purchased our first typewriter piece that consisted of a colored photograph of an opened book with facing pages in a made-up language mounted on stiff papercard with a colored typewritten caption of language art in a large font size below. Two years later, we added two of his unique artist books, one of which was “Beatrice's Notebook Mirror on the Moon” (1983) with 50 pages in a unique calligraphic alphabet as a code, the other   was typed with a Royal typewriter that utilized large fonts, “The Black Book - Mirror on the Moon” (1985) with 72 typed pages and added visual images. These books were intended as performance copies for Katz's film "Mirror On The Moon," a story about a character who makes books in code. In 1991, we purchased “Word Column IV: Puno/Altamira; Word Column XII: Section I (1971). This consisted of two scrolls, one of which at a time was placed such that it emerged from the typewriter that made them. A larger length scroll consisted of Spanish words selected at random by automatic typing arranged as an irregular margin single word column, the smaller scroll consisted of English words chosen the same way. Leandro visited us in 2010 during the week of Art Basel Miami and we have continued to correspond with him.      

Compilers of Assemblings

Richard Kostelanetz (American), David Dellafiora (British), Guillermo Deisler (Chilean), Gerhild Ebel & Cornelia Ahnert (German), Harmut Andrycuk (German): These individuals have compiled, edited, or curated runs of Assembling magazines or “one-ofs” that are among the most creative of artists’ magazines. The Sackners hold complete or almost complete runs of these Assemblings, most of which include international contributors. Richard Kostelanetz (1940-) set the standard for this genre in recent times by publishing the periodical, ‘Assembling,’ each issue 1,000 copies [1970-1981]. As Kostelanetz recalled on his internet site, he invited artists & writers who were known to be doing otherwise unpublishable work to send a thousand copies of up to four pages (8 1/2” x 11”) of whatever they wanted to include, which were assembled in alphabetical order, returning three bound copies to each contributor, ideally selling off the rest to defray collation and administrative costs. As Kostelanetz stated, “we abrogated editorial authority not because we were rudderless or lazy (though we never agonized over whether something or someone would be “appropriate to our pages”), but because we wanted a compositional structure radically different from the restrictive, self-serving nature of traditional editorial processes. We wanted a genuine participatory democracy that successfully redistributed both initiative and responsibility. The only control left to us was the invitation itself, so that just as unfamiliar would-be collaborators were asked to show us examples of their work before receiving an invitation, so a few previous contributors were not invited again.” Although some Assemblings comply with this inclusion rule, others are now edited and/or curated. We hold possibly the first version of an Assembling, “Feuillets Inutiles.” This periodical was edited by Jacques Maret (1900-1980) in Paris from 1929-1980 in 33 numbers except for an interruption by WWII. It ceased to be published after Maret’s death.      

David Dellafiora (1963-) was born in London but has lived in Australia for almost two decades is the most active world-wide compiler of contemporary Assemblings. His first publication was his yearly issued Field Study in 1995 that began in London in 100 copies with contributors from the international mail art network and has continued to the present day. The periodical, “Wipe” [each issue 40 copies] first appeared in 1999 and has reached 61 issues in 2011. The contributors submit their pieces on toilet tissues that are painted, collaged, rubberstamped, handwritten, photocopied or ink jet printed. The variety of toilet tissues that the contributors have used throughout the world is astonishing and worth a look even without the accompanying art or poetry. David started ReSite [each issue 40 copies], an assembling in 40 copies in 2005 with the submitted material on unbound pages in 2005 that has reached 13 issues in 2010. He began KART [each issue 40 copies], with a focus on art and poetry on cards in 2006 which has reached 27 issues as of June 2011. Finally, he has produces single books of Assemblings such as “The Art of the Surreal” (1994) in 16 copies, “Eighty Days” (1997) in eight copies, “Cross Reference: artists in librairies” (2000) in 100 copies, “The Visualised Page” (2001) in 100 copies, and “We Multiply!” (2002).

We carried out correspondence with the Chilean artist/poet Guillermo Deisler (1940-1995) from 1985 while he was living in Bulgaria, then in East Germany up until the time of his death. We purchased several of his unique and limited edition artist books from him. His Assembling periodical, ‘Uni/vers(;)’ that was begun in East Berlin in 1988 lasted through issue 35 in 1995 and was a marvel for the high consistency of the material that was assembled.        

Although we first corresponded with Gerhild Ebel (1965-) and purchased artist books from her in 1996, we purchased the first issue of her Assembling, “Miniature Obscure” (1992) at a later date. The rules for11 mal 11 cm, das ist kleiner als das Booklet einer CD, kleiner als eine Postkarte, gerade mal so groß, dass es bequem auf die Hand passt. contributions to this Assembling was that the pieces had to measure 11 x 11 cm.Beinahe ein Kassiber¹. Some forty, some well-known, others less known authors of visual poetry from the German-speaking world and beyond, for every issue received a personal invitation to contribute a "miniature obscure" which was then packaged in an unusual elegant container in an edition of 88 copies. This assembling was produced almost every year though 11 issues and is a high point in Assembling lore. The editors who knew each other since the late 1980s as students belonged to the circle around the Chilean artist/poet, Guillermo Deisler, who was living in Berlin.

We have carried out a correspondence with Harmut Andryczuk (1957-) since 1990 and met him in Berlin in 1992. He produced the most sumptuous single issue of Assembling in our Archive – literally a museum exhibition in a box, the third issue of “Unikatmaschine” (1996). This unique bookwork with a theme of life and death was exhibited at Studio im Hochhaus in Berlin in 1996. It is enclosed within a large purple, clamshell box, which when opened is divided into two parts. One part contains a box labeled "EXHI," the other section, a box labeled "BITION." The "EXHI" labeled box contained prints and drawings from the 114 contributors with sizes about 31 x 21 cm. The "BITION" labeled box contains a hard cover book that was the catalogue for the exhibition, artists' envelopes, booklets, prints, photographs and a small acrylic painting. The catalogue was a hard cover book that provided documentation and reproduced some of the works in the exhibition. It also included original works as well. This book was included in the "BITION" box along with documentation and original works. It begins with a handwritten, introductory essay by Andryczuk. This is followed by brief biographic sketches of the contributors. The book reproduced the original contributions by Dencker, Gruner, Kulmenin and Heruth on translucent paper, a suite of 37 visual poetic, ink drawings by Pierre Garnier, an ink picture poem by Otto Zielke, a collaged print by Heinz Bartkowiak, an ink drawing by Harmut Sorgel, and an ink and magic marker drawing by Andryczuk.

Archive of Correspondence

Ian Hamilton Finlay (Scottish): Although we have an extensive collection of his books, cards, and prints, the showpieces of his work in our collection are two archives of correspondence, one between himself and his collaborators from 1971-1977 that include a large number of preparatory drawings and handwritten poems for 272 projects. The handwritten, signed letters show Finlay as a stickler for details in his instructions to the calligraphers and artisans with whom he collaborated. His letters often consisted of several pages and his “Archive for Stuttgart Max Planck Project” (1972-1978) took us 14 hours to annotate for the database. The other archive consists of 19 letters from and to Finlay by U. Grant Roman, a publisher living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the 1960s as well as a mock-up of a concrete poetry book Roman was given to publish that Finlay disavowed. We met Ian (1925-2006) at his farmhouse near Edinburgh in 1980 and again a few years prior to his death.

Artist, Poet, Mentor and Publisher

Although there are several individuals who fulfill the header of this section, three stand out: d.a. levy (American), Geof Huth (American) and jw curry (Canadian). Vittore Baroni [see Mail Art sectionbelow], Bob Cobbing [see Performance Poetry section below] and Luciano Caruso [see Handwritten Artist Books above] could have also fit into this section but we decided it was more important to call attention to their other achievements.

d.a. levy’s (1942-1968) archive is one of the few large archives in our collection that does not include personal correspondence between us because he died prior to initiation of our Archive. levy’s Archive in our collection includes correspondence between levy and Bill Wyatt, David W Harris (aka David UU), Jacob Leed, Bob Cobbing, and Will Inman. Further, we have corresponded with Ingrid Swanberg, Karl Kempton, and Karl Young who curated d.a. levy’s home internet page http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/dalevy/dalevy.htm. Both his conventional and concrete poems and critical writings provide one of the most sensitive and accessible body of work to the general reader in our collection. The web site and Ingrid Swanberg’s ‘Zen Concrete & etc’ (1991) are a must for anyone wanting a good understanding of levy and his work. We also were involved with Alan Horvath (1952-2010) who provided a great service to readers of levy’s work by reprinting a number of levy’s works through Kirpan Press because the edition sizes were small and long out of print. We lent Horvath unpublished material by levy that he subsequently published and made available to the public. We hold an extensive collection of levy’s books that he published using “dirty letter press printing” and mimeographing. We hold over 80 books or booklets written or edited by levy, as well as manuscripts of ‘Scarab’ (8 pages), ‘Zen Concrete’ (23 pages), and an unpublished concrete poetry manuscript (13 pages) sent to David W Harris. We hold all the issues of series of booklets he edited and/or published such as the Ohio City Series and Polluted Lake Series. Our Archive holds 101 books published by levy’s Renegade Press and 7 Flowers Press as well as all the issues of periodicals he edited and/or published such as Buddhist 3rd Class Junkmail Oracle, The Silver Cesspool, Poets at the Gate, and Marrahwanna Quarterly. Finally, we hold a painting as well as several drawings, prints and collages made by levy. We hold over 130 issues of small press periodicals to which levy contributed one or more poems. d.a. levy influenced many poets during his brief lifespan such that academics frequently group them as d.a. levy and his circle or d.a. levy and the Cleveland poets.

Geof Huth (1960-) is among the most prolific and thoughtful, contemporary concrete/visual poets, critics, experimental calligraphers and wordsmiths. Along with a detailed, frequently posted blog about poetic activities, he edits several exemplary, small press publications that are distributed as mail art, sends his own uniquely styled calligraphic glyphs through the mail to a limited audience as postcards, and performs/reads his own poems in the U.S. and abroad. All the while, he works full-time with a frenetic traveling schedule as an archivist for New York State. He first contacted us with a letter in 1987. Since then, we have maintained an active correspondence and have met in Miami, Columbus Ohio, and New Orleans. His archive consists of over 25 books, booklets, and pamphlets of concrete and visual poetry as well as large runs of publications he has edited and/or published such as dbqp, qbdp, pdqb, Alabama Dogshoe Moustouche, The Subtle Journal of Raw Coinage, A Voice Without Sides, Socks Dregs and Rocking Chairs, Epistulational Exscrapts, QCKK, &, and Objecta amounting for a combined total of over 750 issues. We hold 17 inked concrete poetic drawings by him (1986-1993), most with small hand printed letters on a grid of graph paper. His Archive dates back to age 18 years when he was editor of his high school magazine, “The Gadfly” he donated to our Archive along with his college magazines, Scriviner, Versus, Vanderbilt Poetry Review and Vanderbilt Photograph Review in which he contributed poems, short stories and photographs. We also hold over 150 issues of various small press magazines to which he contributed poems. Finally, his work never becomes stale – it is always remains innovative, fresh and a delight to read and see.      

We have collected the works of jw curry (1959-) since 1979 but met John for the first time in 1984 in his apartment during a visit to Toronto where he was living at that time. We saw again in 1985 during an interview by Steven Ross for an issue of Mundo Hankamooga, In 1990, he invited me to deliver a talk on “Forming our Collection” at Birganart Gallery in Toronto. curry’s literary output includes concrete and visual poetry as well as minimalist conventional poetry. His poems appear in varied styles such as collage poems, hand-drawn poems, typewriter poems, silkscreen poems but he eschews poems created using a computer. One of his most productive, but little recognized, literary forms has been the personal letter. In the early days of our relationship, he wrote several page letters in an almost micrographic script that were artistically beautiful but devilishly difficult to read.

curry began publishing in 1979 under a wide variety of titles but most of his small press publication (10 to 300 copies) fall into Curved H&Z (over 500 issues including trade, ordinary and variant issues), 1cent series (325 issues), and th wrecking ballzark (70 issues). These issues consist of leaflets, cards, pamphlets, prints, books, and booklets featuring him and other Canadian poets. For most of these publications, he prints the texts with small rubberstamp kits as he hunches over a small table in his apartment. He also has used other printing techniques to a lesser extent such as silkscreen, photocopying, mimeography and photo-offset. The numerous cross-references among these publications as well as others can prematurely age catalogers. His Industrial Sabotage imprint is both a subset of Curvd H&Z and th wrecking ballzark and consists of 63 issues with all manner of experimental poetry in wildly imaginative formats. His Spudburn magazine consists of individual works handwritten by various poets and released in 50 copies with each copy being essentially unique. We also hold 42 issues of small press magazines where curry was a poetry contributor. Finally, we hold 30 collections of Archival material, i.e., manuscripts, drawing and collages for his publications.

As a bookseller, curry has released 15 catalogues through his Room 3o2 imprint that lists his publications and others. For the past several years, curry has focused on producing a complete bibliography of the works of bp Nichol, the Canadian who died a premature death as a result of a failed surgery.

curry has invented an alter ego named Wharton Hood, a Canadian poet who lived near curry. Hood had his own set of correspondents, used a completely different handwriting than curry, and appeared in curry’s letters as a local character curry could not quite control. This alter ego was the supposed editor of Utopic Furnace Press—a press that published only found work—even though curry served as the publisher of the venture. curry has produced a limited edition probably in less than 10 copies of 12 volumes of Hood’s incoming and outgoing correspondence, in which Hood often criticizes many other writers, including some of his frequent correspondents. We hold these volumes in addition to several other publications by Hood.


Micrography was originally a Hebrew form of calligraphy first written in the 9th century, with parallels in Christianity and Islam. Minute letters were written to form representational, geometric and abstract designs. There was a relationship between this form of art, employing both digital and analog symbols, and the restrictions on images from the biblical second commandment. Micrography was used to provide a unique solution to the visual artist who wished to remain devout in observation of Hebrew law, by using only text, not images per se. Similar restrictions existed in certain Muslim societies such that this solution has been adapted for Islamic calligraphy and the Arabic alphabet as well. Now a days, its meaning for the most part has no religious connotation and is written solely for its esthetic effects. However, David Moss (1946-), an American calligrapher living in Israel  has written a body of work utilizing micrography that has a religious connotation. We hold his “The Moss Haggadah - Song of David” (1990) and Ketubot [marriage contract in English]: Love Letters (2005).

The Archives of Vicenzo Accame (Italian), Enzo Miglietta (Italian) (1928-) mainly consist of their micrographic visual poetry.We first corresponded with Vincenzo Accame (1932-1999), a concrete and visual poet, anthologist as well as an art critic in 1980 and met him in Milan in 1981. In 1983, we attended a blockbuster exhibition "Jarry E La Patafisica" held at the Palazzo Reale in Milan that featured many mainstream artists and poets from the early twentieth century and onward. Accame was one of the co-curators of the this exhibition and his work celebrating Jarry’s ‘Ubu Roi’ consisted of 15 micrographic drawings entitled ‘Vision del Particolare’ (1982-1983) and was prominently displayed. We purchased this work during the exhibition through Ugo Carrega who was then the Director of the gallery, Mercato del Sale. We continued to collect his work through 1991 amounting to an additional 16 small micrographic drawings and the largest micrographic drawing on canvas in our collection measuring 116 x 213 cm or 46 x 84 inches. Our last contact with Accame was by mail in 1992.

We hold a large body of micrographic work by the visual poet and calligrapher Enzo Miglietta (1928-) that includes over 70 small (approximately 35 x 50 cm or 14 x 18 inches) and large (70 x 100 cm or 28 x 39 inches) drawings written in inks of varied colors from 1978-1999. These drawings depict geometric forms, stick figures, labyrinths, abstract and constructivist forms, shaped poems, and narratives. One of the gems of micrography in our collection is Enzo’s ‘Bianco/Nero’ (1988), a book that consists of 47 unbound small (21 x 15 cm or 8 x 6 inches) micrographic drawings with occasional added collage elements depicting a dizzying variety of contrasting constructivistic and abstract images in black and white inks. We also hold three of his artist books that contain a total of 75 micrographic prints. We first became aware of Enzo’s work when we purchased a portfolio that contained three of his drawings at the gallery Mercato del Sale in Milan in 1981. We began to correspond in 1981 but did not meet until 1990 at his home in Novoli, a small town near Lecce, Italy. At that time, we decided to systematically collect his work over the years from when he started his poetic career and continued collecting annually until 2002. We consider Miglietta the most under-rated visual poet in our collection who deserves an exhibition outside of Italy so that a broader audience can view his outstanding work.                                                


Wally Depew (American), Scott Helmes (American), and Joan Iversen Goswell (American) are artist/poets who have taken different creative approaches to rubberstamping. Several other artists and poets in our collection use rubberstamping because in the latter part of the 20th century it was a favored media for mail art poetry and neo-dada productions. In addition to those mentioned above, we have large collections of others that immediately come to mind who utilize rubberstamping such as Pawel Petasz (1951-) (Polish), Paolo Bruscky (1949-) (Brazilian), Cozette de Charmoy (1939-) (British), Picasso (Bill) Gaglione (1943-) (American), and John M. Bennett (American) (1942-).

We began corresponding with Wally Depew (1938-2007) in 1980 when we first came across his limited edition booklets at the Printed Matter Bookshop in New York City and requested that he send us more of the same. In addition to his rubberstamped body of work, Wally, who lived in Pennsylvania, California, New York and Arizona through his lifetime, participated in numerous artistic activities. He edited and published Poetry Newsletter (1964-1966), an avant garde, small press poetry periodical that ran through 12 issues, composed concrete typewriter poetry, contributed poems to small press periodicals, was a book artist, print maker and drama writer. We continued to correspond and purchased his book works until 1993 when we lost mail contact with him. Unfortunately, we never had the opportunity to meet. In late 2007, we received a telephone call from his widow, Linda Bandt Depew, indicating that she wanted to donate Wally’s Archive to ours. After much discussion as to whether his work should be donated to a public institution rather than a private collection such as ours, she insisted that she wanted to donate it solely to us. We received an Archive of material in 35 shipping boxes that contained a number of books and booklets we had purchased previously as well as several unknown to us, small press magazines that he had edited, rubberstamped and wood block prints, photographs along with their negatives, unique artist books, collages, correspondence and manuscripts by Wally and other poets including Hannah Weiner (1928-1997) as well as a trove of books and small press magazines in which he was a reviewer, critic or friend of the author.

His response to my question in 1991 about rubberstamping the pages of his books was as follows: “If, for example, I carve wood or plastic and print it from stamp pads, it could be called rubber stamping. But when I use artist’s tube watercolors or acrylic paints, applied to the cuts with a brush, what is that? And when I hand paint rubber stamps and then print them as standard rubber stamps…?

Wally’s personal Archive is still being catalogued but so far it amounts to multiple copies of 18 booklets in an edition of 10 copies, 37 booklets in 49 copies, 1 booklet in 50 copies and 4 booklets in greater than 100 copies, 12 books in 10 copies, 16 books in 49 copies, 1 book object in 50 copies and 16 books in 100 to 200 copies. It also includes five unique artist books, 42 ink drawings, 360 rubberstamped drawings, 3 collages and over 50 rubberstamped or wood block prints. It contains multiple copies of ‘the black box of poems’ (2003) a mini-retrospective of both Linda and Wally Depew’s work that is dedicated to the conceptual artist, Sol LeWitt, in the form of numerous leaflets and booklets that feature conventional poetry, concrete poetry, language art, optical image, transmorfation, conceptual art, and asemic writing. When we finish cataloging the entire Archive, we plan to mount an exhibition featuring his works in a public venue so that his neglected visionary work will become accessible to the art/poetry participating public.

Scott Helmes (1945-) is a practicing architect who lives in Minnesota. But we suspect the love of his creative life is his involvement in performance poetry, and concrete and visual poetry. We began our correspondence in early 1980, continued to remain in touch since then and have met several times over the years in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Miami, and Columbus Ohio. In contrast to making rubber stamps like Wally Depew and Joan Everson Goswell, Scott uses antique rubberstamps for his drawings. With regard to this practice he contributed an essay for an exhibition catalogue ‘Multiplicity for Millions: The Art and History of Rubber Stamps’ (2004), Minnesota Center for Book Arts. In this essay, Helmes states, “In the Winter of 1974, I was at an antique show at Apache Mall, Minneapolis. While looking for interesting antiques, I noticed under a table a wooden box and some rubber stamps. The box was non-descript and the stamps loosely organized. As I had begun doing concrete/visual poetry in 1973, I was intrigued by the possibility of using the stamps for the poetry. The stamps were three dollars and the box two dollars. Shortly after that purchase, I bought a stamp pad and proceeded to make a number of concrete poems using the stamps.” This started Helmes on collecting antique rubberstamp sets such that by 2004, he owned more than 650 sets with approximately 35,000 stamps. In addition to 15 rubberstamped drawings in the Helmes Archive, ‘Language Exposed’ (1991) an artist book, has 40 rubberstamped drawings. We also hold several books that include photocopied rubberstamped drawings such as the exhibition catalogue at Stamp Art Gallery ‘Visual Rubber Stamp Poems’ (1993) with 28 pages of reproduced rubberstamp drawings and ‘Poems 1972-1997, (1997), Stamp Pad Press with 9 pages of reproduced rubberstamped drawings as well as stencil and architectural projection concrete poems. Scott’s rubberstamped drawings depict all styles of concrete poetry and give him the opportunity to create ‘dirty’ printing and smudged poems. Scott made the entrance sign to our collection from mirror imaged antique wood type letters as follows:    ‘THE RUTH AND MARVIN SACKNER ARCHIVE OF CONCRETE & VISUAL POETRY’ (1988) 

Joan Iverson Goswell ((1938-) is a calligrapher, rubberstamp artist and artist book maker who lives in Pennsylvania. She makes her own rubber stamps by carving them from rubber erasers. We have carried on a correspondence since 1995. Most of her work is political in nature and left-leaning. We hold nine of her unique artist books with pages that are rubberstamped with varied color inks and occasionally collaged with photocopied texts. Our favorite book of hers is ‘The George Book’ (1992). This is an anti-George Bush book written during his failed 1992 re-election Presidential campaign. The varied colored inks and arrangement of texts and images lend an especially appealing visual appearance. We consider this book the most outstanding artist book composed with rubberstamping in our Archive. It is a very scathing indictment of the American political system. Although her political persuasion is toward the Democratic party, the criticisms are also applicable in many instances to the Clinton administration and her cutting comments are still relevant in today's (2011) politics. These include among others, 1) If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit!, 2) I want you to join Team 100 where you can give me $100,000 and I give you extra special favors along with secret White House dinners!!!, and 3) I probably have made mistakes assessing the economy - I was wrong - sorry. We question: Do politics ever change??? In addition to the artist books made by Goswell, we hold four of her rubberstamped drawings.                    

Mail Art and Artist’s Stamps

Vittore Baroni (Italian) and Edgardo-Antonio Vigo (Argentine) have been intensely involved with the international correspondence or mail art networks through individual contributions to publications by others or editing and compiling contributions by others in their own periodicals. Mail art can consist of any art/poetic expression in unique or multiple copies provided it is sent through the mail. Rubberstamping, photocopying and collage have been the most common media for expression. A mail art publication often is initiated by an editor or compiler sending by mail a request with a theme for contributions and a specified number of copies. With established mail art publications, individuals send their contributions to an editor or compiler and when a certain number is reached, the issue is made and sent to contributors and selected collectors. Sometimes, the works are exhibited at a museum or public space and a catalogue published. Except for lavish productions, mail art publications are rarely sold to the general public and edition sizes are typically small, e.g., 20 to 100 copies. With the high costs of mailing today, mail art publications are diminishing and may become extinct. The internet is becoming an alternative for communication among mail art workers. Artist stamps are a subset of mail art in which the artistic communication can be viewed directly on the mailing envelope. Occasionally, they are mistaken for valid postal stamps but that is not their usual intent.  

We first contacted Vittore Baroni (1956-) with a letter in early 1980 and began to collect his visual poems, collages, books, prints and edited publications. We have met in Florence, Italy twice and plan to see him in Viareggio, Italy in 2011. We continue to correspond and collect his work which is consistently of the highest quality and packed with  innovations For example, we hold 25 of his artist books, 35 drawings, 215 collages, 83 photocopied or photocopied colored prints, and 42 poem objects. Vittore has also written an outstanding reference text on correspondence art, ‘Arte Postale’ (1997). In this book,  he provides an in-depth discussion of mail art with sections dealing with submovements, e.g., Assemblings, Fluxus, Xerox art, Neo-Dada, etc. and sections dealing with major mail art workers, e.g., Ray Johnson, Robin Crozier, etc. He also mentions the Sackner Archive as a resource for mail art. Vittore has contributed work to over 200 issues of small press periodicals not counting those which he has edited. Vittore has edited one of the most important mail art magazines, Arte Postale! of which he published 100 issues from 1979-2009. He also is an editor of BAU, a more lavish mail art magazine than Arte Postale! which thus far has been published in 9 issues from 2004-2011. Finally, Vittore has made over 80 photocopied, color photocopied or ink jet printed artist stamp sheets. We consider Vittore as one of the most important figures in the international mail art network as well as an artist whose visual creativity is tempered by ‘thinking outside of the box.’

Edgardo-Antonio Vigo (1927-1997) was an engraver, concrete and visual poet, conceptual artist, constructor of "objects-without-use" and "odd-machines," mail and stamp artist, magazine editor and compiler of Assembling magazines. We first wrote to Vigo in 1979 and he responded with artist envelopes and a letter but there was little contact thereafter and we never had the opportunity to meet. Nevertheless, we hold a large body of his work either purchased from booksellers or from an organization called Le Coin Du Chen in Montpellier, France that was in charge of selling works from his estate. In terms of mail and stamp art, Vigo edited several out of print, important periodicals and catalogues by contributors world-wide that document this field. These include the exhibition catalogues entitled Primera Exposicion du Novisimo Poesia de Vanguardia (1968) at Galerie Scheinsohn in La Plata and ‘Last International Exhibition of Mail Art '75’ (1975) at Arte Neuve Galeria de Arte in Buenos Aires. We hold complete runs of periodicals that featured mail and stamp art such as 28 issues of ‘Diagonal Cero’ (1963-1968), 16 issues ofHexa'gono '71’ (1971-1975), 3 issues of Libro Internacional / international book (1976-1980) and 24 issues of Our International Stamps/Cancelled Seals (1979-1990). Of interest is that Vigo and Baroni collaborated on a photocopied stamp sheet that is in our collection.                                       

Performance Poetry

Bob Cobbing (British) and Michael Basinski (American). Performance poetry is poetry that is specifically composed for or during a performance before an audience. During the 1980s, the term\ came into popular usage to describe poetry written or composed for performance rather than print distribution. However, scores for these poems often have concrete or visual poetic appearances

Bob Cobbing (1920-2002) was a sound, visual, concrete and performance poet and publisher who was a central figure in the British Poetry Revival. The latter was the general name given to a loose poetry movement  in the U.K. that took place in the 1960s and 1970s. The revival was a modernist-inspired reaction to the more conservative approach to British poetry. We first met Bob in London in 1979 and visited him almost every summer when we were in London until two years before he died. He was a major source to us for obtaining rare concrete and visual poetic books, periodicals, manuscripts, typewritten pieces, prints and catalogues as well as his own Writers Forum publications. The latter numbers over 1000 pamphlets and books, and, we hold most of them. As a performance artist, he was one-of-a-kind! We brought him and P.C. Fencott for an exhibition and performance at the Richter Library, University of Miami in 1982 and they wowed the crowd and ourselves who had never heard anything like it.                     

Robert Sheppard (1955), a British poet who wrote Cobbing’s obituary in The Guardian, Sunday 6 October 2002 best described the person and his ties to concrete and performance poetry as quoted below in an abbreviated form. 

“He [Cobbing] began his life-long engagement with arts organising in the mid-1950s, with Group H and And magazine in Hendon, which grew into Writers Forum. After leaving teaching in the early 1960s, he managed the famous underground shop Better Books in London's Charing Cross Road, venue of many readings and happenings of the "bomb culture", as his colleague and early Writers Forum poet Jeff Nuttall called those heady days.

Cobbing's entry into the world of concrete poetry came in 1964, with the writing of his alphabetical sequence ABC In Sound. Although he claimed the texts derived from auditory hallucinations during a bout of 'flu, its use of puns, foreign languages, palindromes and technical jargon suggests elaborate craftsmanship. The text beginning: "Tan tandinanan tandinane/Tanan tandina tandinane" already suggests a chanting performance, which it received when Cobbing was given access to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop with its battery of special effects.

Owning the means of production (the office duplicator, the photocopier) meant that Cobbing could conflate the processes of writing, design and printing. Performing regularly meant that he could heal the split in concrete poetry between those who presented silent icons, most famously Ian Hamilton Finlay, and those who developed the art of pure sound, such as Henri Chopin. Cobbing's anagrammatic title Sonic Icons was emblematic. As his texts became progressively freer, any mark - whether letter-shape, lip imprint, or inkblot - was readable as a sign on the page. Shape and texture suggested vocalisation and sound to Cobbing and the performers he increasingly worked with during the 1970s, such as musicians Paul Burwell and David Toop, and poets Paula Claire and Bill Griffiths.

Moaning, sighing, shouting, even sneezing, became as common as words or phonetics. In recent years, new collaborators became crucial to his work: the anarchic thrash noise ensemble of Bird Yak (Hugh Metcalfe on guitar and amplified gas mask, veteran improviser Lol Coxhill on saxophone, and his wife Jennifer, dancing); or the extraordinary series of 300 booklets written with Lawrence Upton, Domestic Ambient Noise, across which the two writers processed and re-arranged the other's work. Aesthetically uncompromising, and repellent to some, Cobbing's language experiments could also be fun - as his work with schoolchildren testified. He remained alert to the weird linguistic detritus he found everywhere. A late text plays changes upon Liz Lockhead's contention that "A good fuck makes me feel like custard". Who could resist Cobbing's rejoinders that "a good screw makes me feel like wet blancmange" or ‘a little lechery makes me feel like spotted dick’?”

Michael Basinski (1950-) is one of the most entertaining performance poets that we have heard. He is a text, visual and sound poet and curator of The Poetry/Rare Books Collection of the University Libraries, State University of  York at Buffalo. Mike performs as a solo poet and with the performance/sound ensemble, Bufffluxus. His visual scores are much more artistic and directed than Cobbing’s scores but like Cobbing, they are all improvised. We contacted him by mail in 1998 and have maintained a correspondence since then and plan to meet when we visit Buffalo in 2011 for a Concrete and Visual Poetry exhibition. We first heard him perform in 2004 at ‘An American Avant Garde: Second Wave - A Symposium, held in Ohio State University. Michael gave a fantastic, funny performance and we purchased the score for it on the spot. We hold 11 of his books or booklets, 2 pamphlets, and 11 unique performance scores of this still rising star of performance poetry              


The following exhibitions utilized solely or mostly works from our collection. We have not included individual works that were lent to various museums such as Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art New York, Palais de Tokyo Paris, Reina Sofia Madrid, Tarble Art Gallery Cincinnati, Ohio etc.

1982 Bob Cobbing & P.C. Fencott: A Performance of Concrete and Sound Poetry/An Exhibition of Concrete and Visual Poetry, Richter Library, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL.

1983 Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive, University of South Florida Library, Tampa, FL.

1983 The Russian Avant Garde: from the collection of Ruth & Marvin Sackner. American abstract artists: from the collection of Patricia and Phillip Frost, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL

1983 Lettrisme: Into the Present, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

1985 Elena Presser: Bach's Goldberg Variations, Miami Dade Wolfson Gallery, Miami, FL.

1985 Lettrisme and Hypergraphics: The Unknown Avant Garde 1945-1985, Franklin Furnace, New York, NY.

1987 Mikhail Tarkhanov, Barry University Library Gallery, Miami, Fl.

1987 Vie des Lettres, La: French Art from the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL.

1988 Twenty Years of British Art from the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL.

1988 The Altered Page, Center for the Book Arts, New York, NY.

1989 Brazilian Concrete & Visual Poetry from the Ruth & Marvin Sackner Archive, Grintner Galleries, University of Florida, Gainsville, FL.

1990 Tom Phillips: Selections from the Ruth and Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, 1990, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC.

1992 The Beauty in Breathing, Annual Meeting of American Thoracic Society, Miami Beach, FL.

1993 Tom Phillips: Human Documents: Tom Phillips's Art of the Page, Kamin Gallery, Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. PA

1993 WORD(S)OUND, Wolfson Gallery, Miami-Dade Community College, Miami, FL.

1993 Book, Box, Word, North Miami Center of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL.

1993 Personal Choice: Selections from 4 Penn Alumni Collections, ICA, Philadelphia, PA.

1994 Tom Phillips, R.A., Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, CT.

1994 Verbal Hothouse: Symbols to Stories, Centre Gallery,  Miami-Dade Community College, Miami, FL.

1994 Latin American Art in Miami Collections, The Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL.

1997 Networking Artists: Assemblings from the Ruth & Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete & Visual Poetry, University of Pennsylvania Library, Philadelphia, PA.

1997 Concrete Hebrew Poetry, Sackner Archive of Concete and Visual Poetry, Miami Beach, FL.

1998 The Next Word, Neuberger Museum, Purchase, NY.

2003 Visual Poetics: Art and the Word, Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL.

2007 Bob Cobbing; Make Perhaps this Out Sense Of Can You, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

2009 TypeBound: Books as Sculpture/Typewriter Poems, University of Central Florida Art Gallery, Orlando, FL.

2011 Telefone Sem Fio: Word-Things of Augusto de Campos Revisited, efa project space, New York, NY.

2011 Tour de France: French Art in Florida Collections, Frost Art Museum at Florida International University, Miami, FL.  


Representative Sample of Artists and Poets Collected by the Sackner Archive.



Artist/Poet Name

United States


Johanna Drucker

Sandra Jackman

Jack Hirschman

Richard Minsky

d.a. levy

William Jay Smith

Jake Berry

Emmett Williams

Jonathan Williams

David Cole

Richard Kostelanetz


Joan Iversen Goswell

John-Eric Broaddus

F.A. Nettelbeck

Timothy Ely

John M. Bennett

Kenneth Goldsmith

Scott Helmes

Dick Higgins

Karl Kempton

Ruth Laxson

Paul Laffoley

Raymond Federman

Geof Huth

Irving Weiss

Susan Barron

Walter Hamady

Jackson Mac Low

Jim Leftwich

Jody Zellen

Mary Ellen Solt

Gina Genis

Liz Was

Miekal And

Carl Andre

Kathy Ernst

Martin Wilner

Kent Taylor

Claire Satin

Ernest Robson

Aram Saroyan

Edwin Torres

Bern Porter

Nico Vasselakis

Richard C.

Kenneth Patchen

Aminah Robinson

Norman Pritchard

Andrew Topel

Marilyn R. Rosenberg

Michael Joseph Phillips

Edward Sanders

Tom Ockerse

Ronald Johnson

Hannah Weiner

D.r. Wagner

Jerome Rothenberg

Arne Wolf

Anna Wolf

Karl Young

John Viera

Douglas Blazek

Charles Bernstein

Paula Scher

Dan Waber

Crag Hill

Bill (Picasso) Gaglione

Bob Grumman

Carol Stetser

Guy Beining

John Giorno

Robert Rocola

Michael Basinski

John Byrum

John Cage

Michael Winkler

David Det Hompson

Wally Depew

Philip Gallo

Barbara Kruger

Jenny Holzer

Bill Keith

Robert Lax

Tom L. Kryss

Michael McClure

David Moss

Geoffrey Cook

Mark Danielewski

Ray Di Palma

Hendrik Drescher

David Daniels

Jacob Drachler

Johnny Brewton

Charles Bukowski

Jim Clinefelter

Kay Rosen

Don Milliken

Ginny Lloyd

Harry Polkinhorn

Judith Hoffberg

Michael B. Corbett

Ken Friedman

Carol Berge

George Brecht

John Pyros

Richard Meade

Peter M. Cragie

Bob Heman

John Held Jr.

Mike Miskowski

Dan Raphael

Robert Grenier

Thomas Merton

Wallace Berman

Chris Winkler

Spenser Selby

Mark Sonnenfeld


Steven Heller

Ingrid Swanberg

Derek White

Clifton Meador

Buzz Spector

Austin Straus

Bill DiMichele

Werner Pfeiffer

Robert Saunders




bp Nichol

Steve McCaffery

jw curry

David UU [Harris]

Greg Evason

Shaunt Basmajian

Judith Copithorne

damian lopes

Anna Banana

bill bissett

Derek Beaulieu

Daniel f. Bradley

Jean-Claude Gagnon

Christian Bok

Jars Balan

Barbara Caruso

Earle Birney

Paul Dutton

Marshall McLuhan

Carlyle Baker

John Riddell

Gustave Morin

Brion Gysin

Donato Mancini

Stuart Ross

LeRoy Gorman

Mark Laba

Gerry Gilbert

Wharton Hood

ross priddle

Gerry Shikatani

David Aylward

Karl Jirgens

R. Murray Schafer

Peter Day

Nelson Ball

Darren Werschler-Henry

Pierre Andre Arcand

Douglas Barbour

John Robert Colombo



British Isles


Tom Phillips

Ian Hamilton Finlay

John Furnival

Bob Cobbing

Jeremy Adler

Dom Sylvester Houedard

Paula Claire

Cozette de Charmoy

Robin Crozier

Alastair Gray

B.S. Johnson

Simon Cutts

Simon Lewty

John Crombie

Karl Torok

Patricia Collins

David Dellafiora

Ann Noel

Christine Brooke-Rose

Charles Verey

Cris Cheek

Donato Cinicolo 3

Thomas A. Clark

Mike Gibbs

Kenelm Cox

Tom Edmonds

P.C. Fencott

Peter Finch

Bill Griffiths

Peter Mayer

Andrew Belsey

Neil Mills

Edward Morgan

Stephan Morris

Opal Nations

Jeff Nuttall

Betty Radin

Stefan Themerson

Joe Tilson

Lawrence Upton

Edward Wright

Nicholas Zurbrugg

Michael Leigh

Ian Breakwell

Stephan Willats

Gilbert Adair

Jake Tilson

Peter Liversidge

Cavan McCarthy

Stuart Mills

Allen Fischer

Gavin Bantock

Philip Jenkins




Severo Sarduy

Carlos Macia

Carlos Luis

Samuel Feijoo





Ulises Carrion

Jose-Antonio Burciaga

Mathias Goeritz



Edgardo-Antonio Vigo

Leandro Katz

Leon Ferrari

Graciela Gutierrez-Marx

Fernando Garcia Delgado

Armando Durante

Fabio Doctorovich





Pedro Xisto

Decia Pignatari

Augusto De Campos

Haraldo De Campos

Avelino De Araujo

Regina Vater

Paolo Bruscky

Leonhard Frank Duch

Edgard Braga

Philadelpho Menezes

Wlademir Dias Pino

Moacy Cirne

Mira Schendel

Joaquim Branco




Guillermo Deisler

Eugenio Dittborn

Martin Gubbins



Clemente Padin

Amanda Berenguer




Damaso Ogaz





Antonio Suarez Londono

Jonier Marin


Puerto Rico


Pedro Pietri

Antonio Martorell

Francisco Rosado

El  Salvador


Romeo Galdamez






Grupo Texto Poetica

Joan Rabascall

Fernando Millan

Francisco Molero Prior

Juan Hidalgo

Ignazio Gomez De Liano

Bartolome Ferrando

Carlos Pazos

J.M. Calleja

Jose Luis Castillejo

Joaquim Chancho

Joan Brossa

Joan Palou

Francisco Pino



Cesar Figeiredo

Ana Hatherly

Fernando Aguiar

Alberto Pimenta

Antonio Aragao

E.M. de Melo e Castro



Joel Hubaut

Albert Dupont

Henri Chopin

Maurice Lemaitre

Bernard Quentin

Alain Satie

Roland Sabatier

Rachid Koraichi

Frank Lalou

Genevieve Seille

Jacques Spacagna

Frederique Devaux

Didier Mutel

Georges Perec

Jean-Francois Bory


Gil Wolman

Bernard Heidsieck

Llys Dana

Joelle Dautricourt

Pierre Garnier

Julien Blaine

Jean-Pierre Nadau

Pierre Albert-Birot

Michel Amarger

Paul-Armand Gette

Jean-Bernard Arkitu

Anik Vinay

Emile-Bernard Souchere

Denise Aubertin

Jean Cortot

Alain Bar

Roland Topor

Claude Pelieu

Laurent Berman

Anne Quesemand

Suzanne Bernard

Gerard-Philippe Broutin

Christian Burgaud

Michel Butor

Bertrand Dorny

Claude Cahun

Francoise Canal

Patrick Chelli

Michel Corfou

Jean-Paul Curtay

Guy De Cointet

Joel Ducorroy

Jacques Maret

Robert Filliou

Jacques Villegle

Isidore Isou

Michel Jaffrennou

Gabriel Pomerand

Francoise Mairey


Claude Melin

Gabriel Paris

Jerome Peignot

Raymond Queneau

Pierre Di Sciullo

Maurice Roche

Alain De la Tour


Paul De Vree

Guy Bleus

Ivo Vroom


Guy Schraenen

Luc Fierens

Christian Dotremont

Marcel Broodthaers

Alain Arias-Misson


The Netherlands


Hans Clavin

Herman De Vries

G.J. De Rook

Herman Damen

Willem Sandberg

Arno Arts

Robert Joseph





Vittore Baroni

Luciano Caruso

Enzo Miglietta

Eugenio Miccini

Ugo Carrega

Maurizio Nannucci

Michele Perfetti

Mirella Bentivoglio

Angelo Merante

Marcello Diotallevi

Arrigo Lora-Totino

Adriano Spatola

Luciano Ori

Luigi Tola

Vincenzo Accame

Gabriele-Aldo Bertozzi

Giancarlo Pavanello

Alessandro Algardi

Ignazio Apolloni

Luciana Arbizzani

Nanni Balestrini

Gianfranco Baruchello

Carla Bertola

Tomaso Binga

Irma Blank

Stelio Maria Martini

Mario Diacono

Emilio Villa

Gianni Bertini

Corrado D'Ottavi

Betty Danon

Lamberto Pignotti

Emilio Isgro

Lucia Marcucci

Eugenio Carmi

Gianni-Emilio Simonetti

Magdalo Mussio

Claudio Parmiggiani


Franco Verdi

Vittorio Fava

Fernanda Fedi

Luigi Ferro

Giovanni Fontana

Claudio Francia

Luca Patella

William Xerra

Gino Gini

Silvio Guardi

Anna Guillot

Elisabetta Gut

Gianni Simone

Ketty La Rocca

Anna Oberto

Enzo Patti

Mimmo Rotela

Roberto Sanesi

Rudolfo Vitone

Marco Giovenale







Elisabeth Broel

Gernot Cepl

Klaus Peter Dencker

Barbara Fahrner

Jochim Gerz

Klaus Zylla

Horst Haack

Thomas Gunther

Uwe Warnke

Jurgen Olbrich

Ferdinand Kriwet

Helmut Lohr

Albrecht Genin

Franz Mon

Robert Rehfeldt

Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt

Timm Ulrichs

Hansjorg Mayer

Klaus Burkhardt

Raoul Hausmann

Max Bense

Jan Herman

Claus Bohmler

Badura, Michael

Joseph Beuys

Uwe Bremer

Ali Schindehutte

Johannes Vennekamp

Arno Waldschmidt

Ilse Bing

Imtraud Klug

Uta Schneider

Ulrike Stoltz

Theo Breuer

Klaus Burkhardt

Wil Frenken

Klaus Groh

Sigfrid Cremer

Hanne Darboven,

Wolf Vostell

Rolf-Gunter Dienst

Klaus Peter Dienst

Reinhard Dohl

Harmut Sorgel

Erhild Ebel

Werner Enke

Siegfried J. Schmidt

Winfred Gaul

Ludwig Gosewitz

Klaus Groh

Wolfgang Hainke

Ludwig Harig

Paul Heimbach

Helmut Heissenbuttel

Kai Hoesselbarth

Ines Ketelhodt

Jana Kluge

Axel George Malik

Cornelia Ahnert

Henning Mittendorf

Claudia Putz

Katharina Eckart

Richard Muller

Reinhold Nasshan

Mathias Pohlmann

Karl Riha

Dieter Roth

Konrad Balder Schauffelen

Arno Schmidt

Dietrich Schneider-Henn

Achim Schnyder

Dieter Emil Sdun

Ulrich Tarlatt

Dieter Wagner

Ottfried Zielke

Harmut Andryczuk

Mary Bauermeister

Carlfriedrich Claus



Ernst Jandl

Peter Daniel

Gerhard Ruhm

Berty Skuber

Klaus Basset

Friedich Achleitner

Konrad Bayer

Frederike Mayrocker

Heinz Gappmayr

Oskar Pastior

Georg Jappe

Gerhard Jaschke


Andreas Hapkemeyer

Werner Herbst

Greta Schodl

Hans Staudacher

Peter Weiermair

Wolf Wezel

Fritz Widhalm

Oswald Wiener

Hansjorg Zauner





Josef Hirsal

Jiri Valoch

Bohumila Grogerova

Karel Adamus

Vladimir Burda

Ladislav Novak

Jiri Kolar

J.H. Kocman

Karel Trinkewitz

Stano Filko

Ladislav Nebesky

Vaclav Havel

Adolf Hoffmeister

Jiri Hula

Miroslav Klivar

Milan Knizak

Eduard Ovcacek

Petr Sevcik



Jozsef Biro

Orshi Drozdik

Gabor Toth

Gyorgy Galantai

Janos Geczi

Laszlo Hegedus 2

Endre Szkarosi

Fabian Istavan

Laszlo Lakner

Emoke Lipcsey

Andras Petocz

Paul Nagy

Geza Perneczky

Balint Szombathy

Endre Tot

Tibor Papp

Robert Zend



Eugen Gomringer

Claus Bremer

Werner Hartmann


Dieter Roth

Gunther Ruch

Arthur Aeschbacher

Ian Anull

John Armleder

Franco Beltrametti

Hans Rudolph Bosshard

Claus Bremer

Anton Bruhin

Ernst Buchwalder

Gerard Charriere

Peer Clahsen

Andreas Hapkemeyer

H.R. Fricker

Norbert Klassen

Kurt Marti

Andreas Senser

Daniel Spoerri

Adolf Wolfli

Manfred Stirnemann




Nenad Bogdanovic

Dobrica Kamperelic

Rora Kamperelic

Miroljub Todorovic

Katalin Ladik

Mladin Stilinovic

Andrej Tisma

Franci Zagoricnik





Alex Ocheretyansky

Dmitry Babenko

Vagrich Bakhchanyan

Vilen Barsky

Sergei Biriukov

Mikhail Bogatyrev

Ariadna Bondareva

Grisha Bruskin

Alexandr Bubnov

Dmitry Bulatov


Oleg Dergatchov

Rea Nikonova

Valerie Scherstjanoi

Alexander Fedulov

Valeriy Gerlovin

Rimma Gerlovina

Jef Golyscheff


Alexander Kohav

Boris Konstriktor

Andrey Tozik

Willi Melnikov-Starquist

Boris Nieslony

Lev Nussberg

Serge Segay

Dmitri Prigov

Andrei Repeshko

Valerei Scherstjanoi

Olga Platanova

Leonid Tishkov




Tatiana Nazarenko

Myroslav Kozol

Rafael Levchin

Mykola Miroshnychenko

Mykola Soroka

Vasyl Trubaj



Bo Kristiansen

Eric Anderson

Ruud Janssen

Hans Jorgan Nielsen

Arthur Kopcke

Henrik Have

Mogens Otto Nielsen

William Louis Sorensen

Vagn Steen



Öyvind Fahlstrom

Mats Bengtsson

Lars-Gunnar Bodin

Hmar Laaban

Sten Hanson

Ake Hodell

Bengt Emil Johnson

Bo Cavefors

Carl Fredrik Reutsward

Elis Eriksson

Agneta Fslk

Jorgen Nash

Bengt af Klintberg

Jari Hammarberg-Akesson

Hardy Strid



J. Lehmus

Anselm Hollo

Jukka-Pekka Kervinen

Eino Ruutsalo

Heta Norros




Monica Rasprong

Lars Michel Raattamaa





Hreinn Fridfinnsson

Jon Laxdal



Joanna Adamczewska

Pawel Petasz

Katarzyna Bazarnik

Zenon Fajfer

Stefan Wewerka

Henryk Bzdok

Johanna Czerwinska

Andrzej Dluzniewski

Stansilaw Drozdz

Andrzej Dudek-Durer

Jaroslaw Kozlowski,

Natalia LL

Gustave Metzger

Tadeusz Myslowski

Piotr Rypson

Andrzej Kwietniewski

Stefan Themerson

Alicja Werbachowska



Andrea Dezso

Valery Oisteanu

Daniel Spoerri

Gert Tobias





Demosthenes Agrafiotis

Criton Tomazos

Stathis Chrissicopoulos


Constantin Xenakis





Sonia Balassanian





David Avidan

Menachem Boas

Moshe Castel

Moshe Dadoun

Jacob El Hanani

Moshe Kupferman

Gary Goldstein

Maty Grunberg

Leila Avrin

Hilla Lulu Lin

Izhar Patkin

Fred Pauker



pete spence

Tim Gaze

Anthony Figallo

Javant Biarujla

Anna Blume

Richard Tipping

Cerebral Shorts

Raimondo Cortese

Ruth Cowen

Mimmo Cozzolino

Cornelis vleeskens

Jas H. Duke

Peter Lyssiotis

Anthony Figallo

Dianne Fogwell

Jennifer Hawkins

Mike Hudson

Jadwiga Jarvis

Chris Mann

Peter Murphy

F'nL Osowski

Pie (TT) O

David Powell

Stephen Banham

Alan Riddell

Tom Roberts

Alex Selenitsch

Norma Pearse


Graham Willoughby

Adam Wolter



New Zealand


Andrew Blythe





Elisa Tan

David Medalla


South Africa


Willem Boshoff

Robin Farquharson

Garth Walker






Nja Mahdaoui





Rachid Koriachi





Hassan Massoudy





Shirin Neshat

Assurbanipal Babilla

Massoud Arabshahi



Walid Raad



Ivory Coast





Frederic Bruly Bouabre





Jean Delvaux





Roberto Altmann





Arvind Krishna Mehotra


Kalanath Jha



Kayoko Abe


Ay O

Keiichi Nakamura

Takahashi Shohachiro

Ryosuke Cohen

Seiichi Niikini

Mieko Shiomi

Yoko Ono

Yu Hirai

Leico Ikemura

Kitasono Katue

Yasuo Fujitomi

Hiro Kamimura

Takako Hasekura

Motoyuki Ito

Hiroe Kittaka

Shoji Yoshizawa

Takehisa Kosugi

Shigeko Kubota


Kazunori Murakami


Shinro Ohtake

Shimuzu Toshihiko

Toshi Katayama

Itsuko Hasegawa

Shin Tanabe

Shimizu Toshihiko

Shoji Yoshizawa






Christopher Harmon Cheung

Xu Bing

Tsang Kin-wah

Che Qianzi





Nam June Paik

Kum-Nam Baik

Koh Won

Koo Jeong



The first catalogue of the Archive was compiled with a word-processing typewriter that placed stringent limitations on revision. It was privately published in 1986 in a run of 500 copies and is long out of print. The citations of the Archive holdings were entered into a computer database in 1990. The bibliography at this site was modified from the current database developed for the Sackner Archive by Dave Edwards, President of Re:discovery software. In its first WEB presentation in February 1998, it comprised about 29,000 citations which were almost half the items then in the Archive. The first revision in January 1999 consisted of about 32,000 records, the second revision in November 2000 about 35,500 records, the third revision, about 39,000 records, the fourth revision, about 41,000 records, the fifth revision of September 2004, about 43,000 records, the sixth revision of June 2005 about 44,000 records, the seventh revision of June 2006 over 45,500 records, in the eighth revision of August 2009 over 50,000 records and in this ninth revision of October 2011 over 53,000 records. About 23,000 items are partially catalogued or uncatalogued and will be added to this WEB presentation on an irregular basis. In this ninth revision, there are almost 10,500 images. Because of limitations imposed by the Internet in transfer of the Re:discovery program, some of its search features that run on the personal computer in the Sackner Archive could not be included in this WEB version.

All items in The Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry made in 1938 and thereafter are owned by The Marvin and Ruth Sackner Limited Partnership, LLC and all items in 1937 and preceding this date are owned by Ruth and Marvin Sackner. This website presents information on all the works together to assist the interested public in appreciating and learning about this kind of art, poetry, and the people that make these pieces.

Using the Website

Search Collection

Use Search Collections to search the website.
Enter a single term or multiple terms. e.g. if Finlay is entered into Author/Maker box and Manuscript into Keywords and Cross Field Search Options set to Match any fields, then more records will be retrieved. This is because any field that has either Finlay or Manuscript will be selected. However, if Match all fields is selected for the Cross Field Search Options, then only less records are retrieved.

Duplicates can be found by entering a query into a specific field, setting Cross Field Search Option field to the ‘and’ option (match all fields). For example, to find duplicate works by Tom Phillips, enter the words, Tom and Phillips, into the Author/Maker field and the word, duplicates, into Keywords.

Other options for Keywords aside from specific queries that the reader wants include the following fields. To access these fields, type the following letters/numbers followed by an equal sign. If more than one word is typed, then connect the words with ‘and.’ Q is the letter to retrieve periodicals (note that these letters are case sensitive but the word being searched is not).
For example, to find all issues of the periodical “Wipe,’ in the keyword field, type Q=wipe and all issues will be retrieved. In addition, Sh’wipe and S’wipe periodicals will also be listed. To list only wipe, type Q=wipe not (Q=sh or Q=s). To retrieve the periodical, Shattered Wig, type Q=shattered and Q=wig; if Q=shattered wig is typed, then a search will be performed with the words, shattered and wig, from other fields in the record causing erroneous records to be retrieved.

Letters/numbers listed below are case sensitive. 

Author/Artist: type I=

Publisher: type E=

Title: type E=

City, Country (Publication): type U=

Translator: type b=

Year (Publication): type Y=

Exhibition Announcement: type N=

Media: type L=

Catalogue: type D=

Container: type p=

Exhibition Catalogue: type V=

Nationality: type 5=

Periodical: type Q=

Language: type G=

Subtitle Author (Periodical): type R=

Classification: type C=

Subtitle (Periodical): type T=

Annotation: type H=

Announcement: type S=

Other contributors type t=

Total number of copies: type n=

Issue number type u=

Volume number type 3=


The Browse Collection option offers the following selections, Heading, Catalogue Number, and Images.

The Browse Authorities option allows the reader access to the contents of selected fields that are listed in tabular form, viz., 1. Classification, 2. Periodical, 3. Publisher, 4. Contributors, 5. Author, 6.Subtitle Author, 7. Nationality, 8. Language, and 9.City, Country (of publication). Clicking on one of these Browse Authorities options provides listing of all the entries in the selected field. For example, the Author Authority Table lists the names of all authors in the database. Because of variation in translating names from some foreign languages to English, this table should is useful for the spelling of the author’s name in this database, needed to conduct a proper search. The Authority Tables also provide the reader with information regarding the contents of the database with regard to Publishers, Periodicals, etc.

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