Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Blackbird 10

From Blackbird 10: L- Art/photocopy by Mike Dyar; R- Poem/lettering/drawing by Ivan Glišić
Blackbird is an occasional journal of poetry and mail art, edited and published by David Stone, poet and director of the Blackbird Institute. The new issue 10 (2009-2012) is just out featuring contributions from poets Eric Basso, B. Z. Niditch, Arnold Skemer, Richard Kostelanetz, Laura Ryder (with photography), Stone, and many others including myself.

There is a manifesto on mail art by Ryosuke Cohen and visual work, realistically reproduced in the preferred photocopy format, by David Chirot, Elaine Rounds, Dennis Saleh, Lavona Sherarts, Guido Vermuelen (two in double-sized fold-out format), Peter Whitson Warren, Wolfgang Guenther (with poems), and too many more to list. Not surprisingly, the blackbird/crow/raven theme proliferates here.

I find mail art to be an interesting genre — it is an egalitarian genre in that its materials are easy to obtain and the finished work is inexpensive to reproduce.  Essentially a form of collage often combined with drawing, painting, photography, ink-stamp, text, it is photocopied and sent all over the world, each piece then likely recopied and sent on again.

There is a global underground mail-art network, which still mostly uses the old-fashioned postal method of delivery, according to Cohen’s manifesto. Indeed, the contributors to Blackbird 10 are quite an international group.  Copies can be obtained from David Stone at the Blackbird Institute, P.O. Box 16235, Baltimore, MD, 21210, USA.

Copies are $25 each, plus shipping, and Stone notes, “$5 s/h for U.S., $12.00 international. International payment is a problem for me. I cannot take credit cards or foreign currency. Payment must be in U.S. dollars.” Still, well worth having.

No comments: