Michael Joseph Phillips

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 195

Richard Kostelanetz really staggers the imagination—another publication has listed him as a sort of Renaissance figure in modern garb. After all the things Richard has accomplished as a critic, editor, and scholar, one discovers that he is also a great visual poet…. The first poem in [Visual Language ]...

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Richard Kostelanetz really staggers the imagination—another publication has listed him as a sort of Renaissance figure in modern garb. After all the things Richard has accomplished as a critic, editor, and scholar, one discovers that he is also a great visual poet…. The first poem in [Visual Language] is a series of manifestoes done circularly and in different sizes so as to overlap—one sees "the poetry of life copies," "artistry bellies argument …," and so on. The whole thing just jumps out off the page at you, and the poem is very pleasant provoking. A nice and easy to see Nymphomania work follows in the shape of a woman; then, lightly, a lollypop poem in the shape of a lollypop takes up a whole page….

Kostelanetz likes good art, Twiggy, and social issues—I am sort of reminded of Melville's short stories. Richard closes Visual Language with his famous "Disintegration"—a poem which just repeats this word time after time as it slowly fades away…. One can only shout bravo and ask for more work by this talented poet.

Michael Joseph Phillips. "Innovative," in Small Press Review (© 1976 by Dustbooks), Vol. 8, Nos. 6 & 7, June-July, 1976, p. 67.∗

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