N.H. Pritchard (born 1939) was one of the few black practitioners of the concrete poetry movement, and his book The Matrix is one of just a few books of concrete poetry to have been published by a major American publishing house. Originally published in 1970 by Doubleday, The Matrix was given little support in its time, and Pritchard’s work was largely ignored or passed over by the international concrete poetry movement. However, The Matrix remains a cherished item for fans of poetry due to its unique composition and difficult yet rewarding poetics. Forcing the reader to straddle the line between reading and viewing, The Matrix, now back in print in a new edition, features visual poems that predate the work of some of the Language poets, including words that are exploded into their individual letters and columns of text that ride the edge of the page.
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