PRINT March 2006


Vito Acconci

THIS IS A GOOD BOOK, a valuable book, but there’s something awkward about the title, which is misleading in at least two ways. This is not a collection of the early essays or manifestos of a famous artist, as the subtitle suggests. It’s a book of poems. Vito Acconci is a well-known artist, but from the mid-’60s to sometime in the early ’70s he was mainly a poet, fashioning language works that would have situated him within a loose network of experimental writers including Jackson Mac Low, George Brecht, Emmett Williams, and Robert Grenier, and that probably would have projected him into the center of the circle of Language poets who were just coming onto the poetry scene as Acconci was leaving it for the art world. But no more than twenty or so of the hundreds of pages of poetry collected in this book have ever been published, until now. So we are confronted with work that was part of its

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