A Keyboard Mind: Hollis Frampton's Gloria! as Lyric Poem

From Poetry Magazine
By Alice Lyons

The Editors' Blog occasionally features online exclusives by Poetry's contributors. This installment comes from Alice Lyons, whose poem "Happy Valley" appeared in our February 2015 issue. Past exclusives can be found here.

I was three when I started reading. My grandmother taught me to read with a typewriter. It was easy and quick. The first two words I learned to recognize and to type on the typewriter myself were Cheese Ritz.
--Hollis Frampton

Hollis Frampton (1936-1984) was a meteoric creative intelligence that blew through the arts of the mid-twentieth century. With an IQ of 187 measured when he was ten, Frampton went on to pack a prodigious amount of creative thinking, synthesizing, and making into his short life; he died at the age of forty-eight—meteor that he was, he smoked profusely. He was an accomplished photographer, filmmaker, theorist of cinema, film lab technician, computer coder, and legendary lecturer, member of both the downtown avant-garde art scene of 1960s Manhattan and the visionary Digital Arts Lab at SUNY Buffalo in the 1970s. While he is part of the canon in the world of experimental film, Frampton's work is essential when considering the integration of poetry and artists' cinema and video, a field that is burgeoning year by year. Frampton called himself a "non-poet" whose "first interest in images probably had something to do with what clouds of words could rise of out of them." His films and critical writings—which reach a kind of apogee in the short film Gloria! (1979)—are radical wrestlings with the constituents of language and cinema. Frampton makes the new media future of lyric poetry intelligible.

Read the full essay on the Poetry Foundation website.