Posted: January 18, 2011 in book review, visual poetry

Matthew Stolte is an artist and visual poet from Madison, Wisconsin, a good friend, and serious person who keeps track of the community of visual poets and their publications and goings ons.  His blog (click HERE) testifies to this. He came to the Avant Writing Symposium last summer here in Columbus OH, which only served to triple his enthusiasm for experimentation.  He’s hosted an open studio during the past couple of years in Madison during the annual MAOAS event, generously opening his space to display visual poetry and small press publications by other in the vispo community.

This is a scan of the cover of a recent book that Matthew had printed (2010) at a local shop in Madison (to digress, I visited that shop with Matthew and was pleased to find a large clock on there wall featuring J.R.”Bob” Dobbs, the figure head for The Church of the Subgenious.… that figure head is also on the sign of the “Bob’s Bar” located at the end of my street, Leland Ave., on High Street here in Columbus OH.)

Here’s a quick summary by Matthew of it’s stats (copied from the web):
Construction Paper Poems – $5.  The 30 page (8 1/2″ x 11″, side stapled) collection consists of artwork created with construction paper & card stock, 2005 & beyond.  It is available from me on request ( or from these fine Madison area locations:

Avol’s Bookstore 315 West Gorham Street, Madison WI 53703 or from
Paul’s Bookstore – 670 State Street, Madison WI 53703

This graphic B+W book was created in the manner of Matisse and his paper cutouts, with a high degree of interesting contour lines created via scissors and riviting positive/negative spaces. Some of the contents stem from the theme of his book, Concrete Dollars & Cents Poems. Matthew takes a conventional approach to his concrete word poems – using the letters of words arranged in compositions, however these express more as cutout construction letters then they would using a conventional typeface font. Matthew’s primary media is that of acylic paint: using “found” stencils, approaching his compositions with color and also with just the black and white approach– which leads the artist/viewer to focus on design/message even more… (See his book: REMOTE POEMS). Matthew’s biggest influence (or art idol) is the work of Jean Michael Basquiat, for whom he’s included his piece “Le Roi” in this book. Other idols are also commemorated in this book, such as Andy Warhol and Patti Smith. It’s good that he’s included a table of contents with titles for most pieces, because all the references are not obvious at first glance. For instance, the wordart for R.Crumb first struck me as the word “Bummer”… but what the hey, we all have a certain creative license when it comes to being a reader, right? Right.


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