30 April 2009

appreciations 3: Karl Young

(third in a series of brief "appreciations" of less than 200 words on various figures, with, sometimes, a sample of work)

Karl Young, Alfred Jarry: Unfinished Wood

Can I possibly honor KARL YOUNG in 200 words? (That question & this parenthetical remark do not count.)

He does not mince words, or, he does mince, twist, hone, shine, shape, and more. When experimental poetry was vast and exciting and not nearly as narrow as at present, he was active in making visual poems, working with sound poets, creating artist's and performance books, and a lot more. He also created communities, such as that which grew from BOOX to become WOODLAND PATTERN under his guidance as founding father and visionary programmer.

He created MEMBRANE PRESS, publisher of everything from a book of commentary on Clark Coolidge to books of disintegrating photocopy procedures by internationally active writers and artists. Later, he created LIGHT & DUST BOOKS, carrying on his nearly-one-person anarchical constitution of a kind of culture few of us can encompass, and the marvelous LIGHT & DUST web site, which remains perhaps, THE great literary (in a broad sense) repository of our time. All while rarely venturing from either Milwaukee (early) or, more recently, Kenosha, Wisconsin

Karl Young's Score 7 (based on Tu Fu's Night in River Lodge)

Had he been in New York, I think he might be the most celebrated experimental literary artist of the last 40 years. In Wisconsin he has created a body of work that may well grant him that title over time.


At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Pat Wagner said...

Have been Karl's biggest fan since 1972. He was my mentor and one of the biggest inspirations in my life. I was part of the Boox crew, along with Marc Haupert and Susan Marcinkus. Thanks for the accolades that he so richly deserves.

Pat Wagner
Denver, CO

At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thank Charles for his post and agree that Karl would be better recognized had he lived in NYC, but I doubt he would have produced the same quality and quantity of work in the Big Apple, with all its added distractions. Thankfully, Karl's vast opus isn't a strive for fame, but a packet of relief for weary minds. I'm delighted that people are getting turned onto it for their own good. Karl should know how loved and appreciated he is by the literary community for his decades of generosity and humor. Not only has he given as author, translator, printer, publisher, web wizard and organizer, but he has also been a phenomenal photographer, some of which has emerged as his visual poetry.
Love ya, Karl.
John Solt

JS is co-editor of OCEANS BEYOND MONOTONOUS SPACE: Selected Poems of Kitasono Katue (1902-78), introduced, co-edited and designed by Karl Young (Hollywood: highmoonoon, 2007).

At 3:32 PM, Anonymous Joel Lipman said...

The full importance of Karl Young's contributions to 20th & 21st century poetry, commentary, poetics, and publishing will probably only be revealed by some scrupulous biographer, one who will need to be attentive to what it meant to be a globally-conscious midwestern poet operating in a national landscape with a bi-coastal literary lens. Karl Young's expertise and intelligence, as a print-era master printer and as a literary web-era digital designer, is behind a great many significant publications.

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Mohamed Mughal said...

Thanks for bringing my attention to an interesting literary artist who I didn't know about.


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