EECCHHOOEESS Norman H. Pritchard

Published by DABA Press, New York, 2021, 66 pages, 14.7 × 20.8 cm, English

Price: €24

American poet Norman H. Pritchard’s second and final book, EECCHHOOEESS was originally published in 1971 by New York University Press. Pritchard’s writing is visually and typographically unconventional. His methodical arrangements of letters and words disrupt optical flows and lexical cohesion, modulating the speeds of reading and looking by splitting, spacing and splicing linguistic objects. His manipulation of text and codex resembles that of concrete poetry and conceptual writing, traditions from which literary history has mostly excluded him. Pritchard also worked with sound, and his dynamic readings—documented, among few other places, on the album New Jazz Poets (Folkways Records, 1967)—make themselves heard on the page.

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The Matrix Poems: 1960-1970 Norman H. Pritchard

Published by Primary Information, New York & Ugly Duckling Presse, New York, 2021, 224 pages, 10 × 18 cm, English

Price: €18

The Matrix by Norman H. Pritchard (1939–1996) gathers a selection of the Concrete and Black Arts poet’s work from 1960 to 1970. The seventy-one poems collected here might be regarded, as Charles Bernstein has written, as “sound” poems, being tethered not only to the literature of the Black Arts Movement but also to jazz culture and urban life in New York. Drawing as much from the visual arts and concrete poetry as from sound-based experimentation and music, Pritchard utilized the simple tools of spacing and typography to create syncopations, vibrations, and musical rhythms. What emerges is nothing less than a self-contained system of mimetic codes that challenge modernist modes of perception and representation. Formally innovative and anticipating what Michael Riffaterre would come to call the semiotics of “ungrammaticalities,” the book is a syntactical and visual experience in repetition, stutters, and structure.

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