Monday, February 18, 2013

The Cleveland Manifesto of Poetry (1964)

drawing by D.A. Levy
Illustration by d.a.levy for 
"Permit Me Voyage" 
by Adelaide Simon (1963)
The Cleveland Manifesto of Poetry (1964)

 The Cleveland Manifesto of Poetry was published from Jim Lowell's Asphodel Bookshop in 1964, a year after the bookstore opened at 465 The Arcade. It prints statements by Russell Atkins, d. a. levy, Russell Salamon, Adelaide Simon, Jau Billera, and Kent Taylor. The statements still seem relevant today, especially those of Atkins and levy, whose manifesto begins "To write surface poems with the appearance of artificial flowers in order to communicate with persons by forcing them to resort to instinctive methods of understanding." It is a beautiful and surprising characterization of the concrete tendencies in levy's poetry and bookmaking. 

--considering today's Cleveland poetry scene, with a local reading just about every day and two on Saturdays, I'd say that by d.a. levy's standards, we're doing pretty good at "covering the city with lines"!
--but I do have to say, although I loved those old-fashioned manual typewriters and mimeograph stencils back in the day, our printing sure looks a lot nicer now--

(from the Spineless and Stapled blog.)

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The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau