MinXus Mail Bag: Vispo Bagism by Matthew Stolte (Madison, Visconsin, USA)

Matt - 3.3.2015 - 1 Mail-art by Matthew Stolte (Madison, Wisconsin, USA)

Matthew Stolte is a favorite visual poet whose work has illuminated our humble pages many times before to much acclaim. We are always thrilled to receive new work from Matt and to share it. We deeply appreciate that no matter how recognized and in demand he might be in the vispo world, Matthew Stolte remains an active and innovative mail artist.

One visual poet “career trajectory” is to establish yourself through the mail-art network (which is still a primary conduit for international visual poetry) and then – with the semblance of a reputation and audience – to join that part of the vispo community that has ties to the literary world. (Vispo’s acceptance has been one of the great avant success stories. Even relatively conservative college poetry anthologies have a vispo section.) Many established visual poets do not acknowledge their network roots and as the great Zimmerman said, “Don’t Look Back.” Matthew Stolte is an exception as are a number of other notable figures such as John M. and C. Mehrl Bennett (Columbus, Ohio, USA).

Tenderfoots will recognize Matt’s characteristic style in these pieces. His current preoccupation involving the world’s oceans and ecology is present and evolving. We also find an interesting use of concealment that borders upon the ancient practice of Bagism in this missive. These first two scans show an envelope fashioned from an infamous brown paper bag. Note the “Big Gulp” that, among other triggers, announces the Matthew Stolte “Oceans” theme. Matt - 3.3.2015 - 2 Inside the envelope (or bag) is a wonderful work of text-centered vispo: Matt - 3.3.2015 - 3 This piece is relatively minimal for Matthew Stolte, whose dense, layered and complex compositions have already generated much MinXus-Lynxus commentary. The piece is also rooted in concrete poetry with its emphasis on the materiality of language and reveals fluidity and a sense of play (despite the black and white tonal severity) in the process of re-arranging recognizable letters into asemics. Here is the reverse side: Matt - 3.3.2015 - 4 Matthew Stolte is a 5089er: Like MinXus-Lynxus, he is a participant in Moan Lisa’s (Iowa, USA) 5089 project. The work above came in two envelopes: Matt - 3.3.2015 - 5 And the reverse side: Matt - 3.3.2015 - 6 All of the above arrived inside a larger envelope: Matt - 3.3.2015 - 7 Some sort of postal SNAFU occurred. Matt - 3.3.2015 - 8 Many thanks and best wishes to Matthew Stolte in Visconsin.

Matthew Stolte’s Construction Sea is a FAB vispo blog. Take a gander:

http://constructionsea.blogspot.com/

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