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Visual poetry has been part in Western literary tradition since at least the 3rd century BC, and its first records are the poems “Axe”, “Eros Wings” and “Egg”, by Simmias of Rhodes. In other languages and cultures, it is possible to go back to even more remote times, considering the sacred connection between word and calligraphy in the Arab tradition, the poetic puzzles (citrakāvyā) practiced in India, the figurative versions of the Hebrew Masoretic texts, the Chinese hui-wen, among others. Starting from these first sources, to which we have the material proof, the practice spread and entered the literature, always occupying a marginal, ex-centric, unpopular position, sometimes close to the game, and sometimes to magic. Despite being numerous and present in different cultures, the occurrences of poems with visual appeal seem sparse and did not even constitute genres or literary movements in the period that extends from classical antiquity until the beginning of the 20th century, with the sudden growth of the avant-garde. In this historical line, Apollinaire’s calligrams can be considered as a historical turn of visuality in poetry, which has at the end of the thread of Mallarmé’s Un coup de dès, even though both do not have direct relations.


Since the beginning of the 20th century, therefore, several movements have emerged from the Apollinarian figurative procedures, or Mallarmean spatialization, have multiplied in multiple directions: Letrism, Nouncentism, Spatialism, Concrete Poetry, Poesia Visiva, Poema/Processo, Poem-semiotic, Typewriter poets, etc. In this way, there is a series of different practices, with different names, sometimes grouped under the same appelation Visual Poetry, and not without divergences. However, what differentiates these poems that are not considered part of the so-called traditional poetry? What are the procedures used by the poets that characterize the various practices of visual poetry: exploring the potential of the written language; relationship between text and image; rupture with the linearity of the linguistic sign; spatial syntax; content and recurring themes; intermedia? 


The I International Colloquium of Visual Poetry: Research and Creation will receive researchers and poets to discuss these and other issues, tracing a historical and critical outlook of the movements and procedures that constituted the genre and its variations. The purpose of the event is to bring together artists and scholars in order to promote critical thinking and expand the relationship between practitioners of visual poetry at a global level. At the same time, and as part of the event, the I Virtual Exhibition of Visual Poetry will be held, in order to bring together historical and contemporary productions based on contributions from invited and registered poets..


Applications are open from 1st June 2021 to 15th August 2021 for submission of theoretical propositions (for oral communication) and artistic works (for the virtual exhibition). Check the rules for registration.


The official languages of the event are: Portuguese, English, French, Spanish and Italian, in line with the multilingualism and internationalism that traditionally accompany the practice. To submit your work in other languages, please send us a message on


In honour of: E.M. de Melo e Castro (1932-2020) & Laís Reis (1988-2020).


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about us

The idealization of the I International Colloquium of Visual Poetry: Research and Creation and I Virtual Exhibition of Visual Poetry, bringing together Brazilian and foreign researchers and artists in an event specifically focused on this theme, arose from the meeting of the poet and visual artist Anderson Gomes and the researcher Juliana Di Fiori Pondian. Then Julio Mendonça, Omar Khouri and Antonio Vicente Seraphim Pietroforte were invited to form the event’s organizing committee.


The project prepared by the committee was presented to Haroldo de Campos Reference Center of Casa das Rosas – Espaço Haroldo de Campos de Poesia e Literatura, at São Paulo – SP – Brazil, which immediately offered to host this first edition of the event and contribute with its dissemination and realization, with the support of the Universidade Estadual Paulista and the Universidade de São Paulo, represented by the professors who are members of the Commission.


The proposal is that, once inaugurated, the International Colloquium of Visual Poetry will be held every two years and will also have a publication at the end of each edition, compiling theoretical texts and artistic works by the participants. 


This is a non-profit event that does not have financial support from any public or private institution. The Organizing Committee and all invited participants waived Pró-Labore, and there are no registration fees.

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