torsdag, maj 31, 2007

something small, with Hs

From Dan Waber:

The first time I read that bpNichol had a favorite letter of the alphabet I was sufficiently steeped in his work that I wasn't really surprised, but, it did strike me. I ran quickly through the alphabet in my head and tried to decide if I had one. I didn't, but, I couldn't rule out the possibility that I could have a favorite.

The idea of a favorite letter struck me more than the fact of the specific letter--though there is much to be said for H as a favorite (his own stated reasons included some very strong and early connections).

Over time, in no planned or constant fashion, I've taken advantage of a few opportunities to connect back with H, some more notable than others. One example (from many):

On a trip to New York City we found ourselves in a street fair, one of the vendors was selling baseball caps. Off to the side, tucked back in a corner, away from the official teams was a series of caps that just had individual letters of the alphabet on them, and H was right at my eye level as we walked by. How could I pass that up? So I bought the hat, and would wear it from time to time. Sometimes people would ask
me "What does the H stand for?" And I'd reply variously with Hello, Hi, Howyadoin, Heythere, Happy, Hotdamn, or Hoodoggy. More often than not, this became a conversation starter and I'd get the chance to tell the real story and end up in a talk about bpNichol and his work and how it affected me and my work.

I've been camera-in-hand for a couple of months now because of an unrelated project, and I've taken advantage of that by hunting for Hs in the wild, and taking pictures of them.

So I had this accumulated group of Hs, and even without any intentional plans to continue adding to the group (which I do have), it became clear that it was time to give these Hs a proper home. I'd put some up on for a while, but have lately become disenchanted with them as a service, ever since they were bought out by Yahoo! and made some changes to the way they operate that rub me the wrong way.

After a frustrating day of hunting for a canned solution that met all or most of my needs, I decided it was time to call in the experts. I contacted Marko Niemi, described to him what I wanted (a grid in the shape of an H that would randomly cycle through all of the images in a directory on a webserver that I could just upload images into), and asked him if that was something simple or difficult--it's a minor and obscure project, and I didn't want to waste his time on it if it was one of those things that's really easy to describe and really difficult to implement. Within hours with only a couple of back and forths, it was completely finished.

Reason #378 why I love collaborating with Marko Niemi: only AFTER everything was completely finished and ready to launch did Marko ask me, "Btw, is there a particular reason for the obsession with the letter H?" Create first, ask questions later.

I am pleased to offer for your ongoing use, "Hs for bpNichol", a piece that will continue to grow and shift and change as Hs drift in, through, and out of my life.


tisdag, maj 29, 2007

måndag, maj 28, 2007


Ruomenoja pennin kappale (i.e. Pomes Penyeach) by James Joyce, translated into Finnish by Jusu Annala @ nokturno.

torsdag, maj 24, 2007

a as in dog

From Dan Waber:

Ever have one of those ideas that takes years and years to finally come to full fruition? You wrote it down, and then waited for the timing, circumstances, and/or right collaborator to come along. And you were patient that whole time, eager but patient, never forgetting the idea. Me too!

Have you ever seen Bembo's Zoo? ( if you haven't--you really should, regardless of whether you want to go any further into this announcement, that's a work well worth your time. And it's the perfect set-up to the rest; though, if you're Flash challenged, it's definitely not required.

So ends the preamble. Now, on to the meat of the announcement.

After years of waiting for the perfect collaborator to come along, I am filled to overflowing with joy to announce:

a as in dog, by Dan Waber & Marko Niemi
a as in dog, by Marko Niemi & Dan Waber

part hommage, part parody, all ultra-minimalist all the time (or, anything they can do minimal, we can do less)

a full introduction is here:

Short version for anyone who hasn't already clicked through: a lady was spelling her name to me over a bad phone connection and she accidentally said, "a as in dog" instead of "a as in apple" or "a as in alpha". It made me laugh, it made her laugh, and it got me thinking. First I figured out a way to make an "a" look like a dog. Then, I figured out how to make every other letter of the alphabet into an animal whose name didn't start with that letter (without repeating start-of-name letters). I lacked the deft touch necessary to bring these ideas to life until I connected with Marko Niemi. He built them all better than I ever could have by, in most cases, making them less than I'd've dared.

If you enjoy viewing these pieces even one 26th as much as we enjoyed making them you'll be grinning for days.

Come, look, enjoy.

Dan & Marko

fredag, maj 18, 2007

concrete poetry from norway

Ottar Ormstad @ nokturno.


Giacomo Joyce, a short work by James Joyce translated into Finnish by Jusu Annala @ nokturno.

onsdag, maj 16, 2007

english for the new illiterati

From Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl:

Dearest english mostly as a second language speaking friends and poets.

I write these words from sunny Helsinki to let you know that I've started blogging about poetry in illiterary english at

That is all.

My best,


lördag, maj 12, 2007

white tulips

White Tulips / Valge tulp / Белый тюльпан

White Tulips movement was started by 20 young Estonians with Estonian and Russian origin, who had the vision that all nationalities should live friendly within our communities. As the relocation of the II World War monument in Tallinn to its new home in the soldier’s graveyard resulted in tensions between Estonian Russians and Estonians, the White Tulips -movement started to spread their peaceful message of not hating anyone and that even the Estonians and Estonian Russians may have different pasts, they have common future.

All Estonians and Estonian Russians have been called to place white flowers (if possible white tulips) to sites and events of importance for both Russians and Estonians as a sign of respect, dignity and peace. You can read comments and see pictures of White Tulip -movement from which is constantly being added by new pictures of white flowers in important places.

The idea has received many followers in Estonia, got attention from both national and international media and could potentially become a wider European movement against hatred within our communities. White Tulips -movement is not part of any political or commercial campaign.

White Tulips / Valge tulp / Белый тюльпан

torsdag, maj 10, 2007

onsdag, maj 09, 2007

ntamo is born

From Leevi Lehto's site:

May 9, 2007 9:39 PM In the morning, I founded my new publishing house, ntamo. In the evening, it agreed to put out my new book in Finnish (my collected poems 1991-2004), Toinen runous.


lördag, maj 05, 2007

cybertext yearbook database

The cutting edge even the print heads can't avoid...

The Cybertext Yearbook Series (edited by Markku Eskelinen & Raine Koskimaa), started in 2000, quickly earned its reputation as one of "the best cutting-edge reads for the literary digerati" (American Book Review). In 2007 it will finally make the obvious non-trivial move and transform itself into the Cybertext Database, a FREE online publication. As uncompromising and unpredictable as ever, it will continue to be organized as separate issues.