GLYPH: GRAPHIC POETRY=TRANS. SENSORY - 3D virtual exhibition by Tupelo Press


Mon, 05/10/2021 to Tue, 05/10/2022

curated by:

Each collage poem in GLYPH combines images and text to create a vivid story of poet Naoko Fujimoto’s Japanese-American heritage. Born and raised in Nagoya, Japan, Fujimoto studied at Nanzan Junior College before receiving a B.A. and M.A. from Indiana University. She is a RHINO associate and outreach translation editor.

The graphic poems in this gallery are trans. sensory: they translate for, and transport the viewer’s sense from flat text, to bring words and images together, and to connect them with their physical counterparts.

Visitors to GLYPH: GRAPHIC POETRY = TRANS. SENSORY have the option of navigating the exhibit on their own or taking a guided tour. Begin on the far right of the exhibit, where a short video allows you to see and hear Naoko Fujimoto in the midst of her creative process. From there, the gallery is open to you—navigate this virtual space as you would an in-person museum.

Click on each piece to get a detailed view, using the “next” or “previous” buttons located on the bottom right of the screen to move to another piece. Each piece is accompanied by a short informational description which can be accessed by hitting the “i” icon in the upper left screen. Many of these descriptions are written in the words of Fujimoto herself, making this gallery a unique opportunity to interact with the author over a virtual space.

If you would like to learn more about the pieces, or enquire about acquiring GLYPH, use the “Request” feature, also located on the bottom right of the screen.

“I was wandering around the house of poetry and this book showed me to a door I didn’t know existed. Now, on the other side, nothing is the same. By layering and arranging found art, original drawings, washi, photos, paint, and bits of leaf, Naoko Fujimoto has created a stunning contemporary emaki engaged with Japanese heritage, the horrors of war, and daughterhood, offering us a dynamic accumulation on the page that feels as delightful and devastating as life itself.”

—Gabrielle Bates

“Naoko’s poetry is ‘trans. sensory.’ It relays the work of translating sources, events, emotional revelations, and emotional search parties into text. It is the very demonstration of the pluralizing experience of poetry itself. Where distinct ‘graphic’ practices meet, at the edges of one material and another, a thin veil of blur where one material gives way to the surface of another, we are presented with a strand to sit on and ponder a detail of poetry related to voice: voice demonstrates in registers. Those registers are the coordinates of a geography we often assume to a composed poetic speaker, a composed, dispositive emotional face to accompany the text. The joy of walking inside a kaleidoscope and touching the surfaces we witness only in two dimension reveals emotional disposition to be a process of stages and witnessed events threaded-through by string, paper, color, and breath––all of it mapped together. All of it a living process of the poet, who is no less heroic if not heroically more honest. Why would we seek to simplify poetry’s beauty and complexity and richness into a plain white page and marginalized text? I’d rather smell the vision of ‘trembling camphor trees,’ let them haunt me, and share the work of making poetic sense of human sinew, mnemonic echoes, and textural gestures. I am comforted by the face of poems like ‘Drinking Poem’ or ‘Foreign / Grey’ in this collection, which console my efforts at hearing poetry with the reminder that a poet must too also work, and care, and persuade the poem from a four-dimensional world, and from all those marvelously experiential, sensory hiding places. What Naoko works when they hold, turn, and consider the personal before handing it back transformed into the world from which it came is what we see and hear in these poems, these trans. sensory dioramas that are more than simply pages of a book, but environments of a memory translated from a historical world, and given back to our minds to consider, to turn, to feel.”

— José Felipe Alvergue

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