Bob COBBING (Great Britain)
Bob Cobbing (1920, Middlesex, England) – poet, artist, musician, performer, publisher. One of the pioneers and classics of European visual and sound poetry, the key figure in the English school of concrete poetry of the 1950s – 90s. His first monotypes (visual poems made with help of a typewriter and/or duplicating machines) were created in 1942; the first samples of sound poetry were represented by the author in 1954. He was the editor and publisher of the “AND” magazine (1954-69, collaborating with M. Levin, J. Rowan, A. Klarke), a classic model of the experimental poetry periodical, that presented a wide range of poetic strategies from the typewritten minimalism to the manipulated mimeograms. In the 1950s, he established the “Writers Forum of Experimental Poetry and Performance Workshops,” a community of experimental poets and literary men with regular workshops that have been held for more than forty years. In 1963, he established the publishing house “Writers Forum Press,” that with its numerous editions had a great impact on the development of the little press movement in Great Britain as well as on the establishment of experimental poetry in Europe. For about forty years within the “Writers Forum press” there have been implemented around 750 editions, and a great number of exhibitions and readings of poets from various countries of the world have been held. In the 1960s-70s Cobbing collaborated with such outstanding representatives of literary and artistic underground as E. Morgan, J. Sharkey, D. S. Houedard, J. Furnival, J. H. Finlay, B. Gysin, W. Burroughs and others. Under the aegis of the “Writers Forum” he edited and published jointly with D. S. Houedard and P. Mayer a magazine, “Kroklok” (1971-76) which, according to art historians, “was the classic of the European alternative and experimental literature” (G. Perneczky). Cobbing is the author of more than 250 poetic editions and books, including recent titles such as: 15 Shakespeare Kaku Augmented (London: Writers Forum, 1998), Poems (London: Writers Forum, 1998), Voices (London: Writers Forum, 1999), Kob bok: selected text of bob cobbing (1948-1999) (Buckfastleigh, Devon: Etruscan Books, 1999), Domestic Ambient Noise (in collab. with L.Upton, 1994-2000) and many others. He is the author of a number of anthologies, including Verbivisivoco (in collab. with B. Griffiths, London: Writers Forum, 1992), Word Score Utterance Choreography in verbal and visual poetry (in collab. with L. Upton, London: Writers Forum, 1998). Cobbing has published more than thirty original editions of sound poetry and his works are represented in various international anthologies, including Text-sound-composition 1. A Stockholm Festival 1968 (Stockholm: Fylkingen Rec., 1968), Text-sound-composition 5. Stockholm 1969 (Stockholm: Sveriges Radios forlag, Fylkingen Rec., 1969), akustische texte – konkrete texte – visuelle texte (Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum, 1970) and many others. He has participated in a great number of festivals and forums of contemporary poetry both in Great Britain and abroad. He has held numerous solo exhibitions of visual and object poetry, painting, graphics and others. In 2000, a poetic festival “A Day for Bob Cobbing” dedicated to Cobbing's 80th birthday was held in London. Bob Cobbing lives and works in London (Great Britain).