Visual Poetry & Artist’s Books

with Ellen Sheffield
Wednesdays: January 11, 18, 25; 7–9pm CT

What is visual poetry (VISPO)? Visual poetry incorporates multiple forms of experimental poetry and literature. It has been described as the natural fusion of poetry and visual art with a history in concrete poetry. This makes it an ideal genre for the hybrid nature of the artist’s book, which happily accommodates the convergence of visual and literary impulses. Of the multiple ways artists use language or write text for artists’ books, the poetic approach is among the most evocative.

This is an intermediate level virtual workshop for artists and writers interested in taking a deep dive into more experimental poetic uses of text in artists’ books. We’ll look at examples of VISPO approaches such as lettering, handwriting, text objects, typography, and collage. Through prompts, exercises, and homework assignments, participants will explore and experiment with creating visual poetry and make a soft cover sampler book as a guide for future book projects.

Basic creative writing experience and bookbinding skills (including experience making folded and stitched structures) are required.

Experience required
Certificate: 6 hours, Category B or C

$130/participant (10% discount for MCBA members)
$65 for BIPOC participants (10% discount for MCBA members)
We are offering a scholarship rate to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) participants to honor equity and increase access and artistic opportunities for those who have historically been underrepresented in the book arts. For individuals to whom this does not apply, register at the rate listed first and, if you are able, consider making a donation when registering to support MCBA’s efforts to make scholarship rates available.

What you’ll need to participate
Tech requirements: For this participatory virtual workshop we recommend joining on a laptop or desktop computer with a camera and microphone, if possible. You will receive step-by-step instructions for downloading Zoom (it’s free!) and accessing the workshop online approximately 2 days before the workshop’s start date.
Materials: You are responsible for sourcing your own materials from the materials list. You are welcome to reach out to teaching artists with questions about materials in advance of the workshop (contact information is listed on the materials list).

This workshop is full. Add your name to the wait list and you’ll be contacted if space becomes available or another section of the workshop is scheduled.