Tickets for each event will be available on the door. 

Klang Farben Text is a three-day visual poetry festival taking place at the Lyrik Kabinett in Munich on 3–5 March 2020. There will then be a follow-on event on 8 April 2020 at the National Poetry Library in London, which forms part of the European Poetry Festival.

Inspired by the international concrete poetry movement of the 1950s and 60s the exhibition celebrates how that movement has impacted a new generation of poets and artists. The printed word is transformed into film and performance demonstrating how concrete poetry has transcended beyond the book and printing press into an experiential art form for the 21st Century.

Curated by SJ Fowler and Chris McCabe, both poets, performers and editors of visual poetry, this exhibition aims to create an innovative and dynamic dialogue between UK and German poets and artists. The exhibition builds on the celebrated anthology The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century which was published by the Hayward Gallery in 2015, which was co-edited by McCabe and includes work by Fowler. Klang Farben Text (sound-colour-text) will take the form in performative collaborations between UK visual poets and contemporary German poets and a screening of concrete poetry films produced between the 1960s to the present day.

The UK poets are: Chris McCabe, SJ Fowler, Kimberly Campanello, Barrie Tullett, Robert Montgomery, Victoria Bean.

The German poets are: Gerhild Ebel, FALKNER, Angelika Janz, Michael Lentz, Benedikt Kuhn, Jürgen O. Olbrich, with special guest Eugen Gomringer.

“The international concrete poetry movement of the 1950s and 60s didn't end, it exploded into the work of a new generation of contemporary poets and artists. Klang Farben Text brings this UK and German generation together for a three-day celebration of visual poetry in sound, film and live performance" – SJ Fowler, Chris McCabe, curators

Concrete Poetry Films:There will be a looped series of concrete poetry films throughout the programme. These films document the development of concrete poetry from the 1960s to the current day, demonstrating how the form has extended out from the page into moving image and sound. The aim is to show how the current visual poetry scene remains true to the international focus of the original Concrete poetry movement.

The format for the festival will be:

  • 3 March 2020: evening public event with Eugen Gomringer as ‘keynote’/guest speaker followed by tasters of each of the 12 collaborating poets
  • 4 March and 5 March 2020 evening public events with the collaborating poets (six poets i.e. three pairs per night) One of the public events will feature a whole group performance
  • One of the public events will feature a whole group performance
  • Days set aside for collaborative work between the pairs of poets and as a group; organising a performance of a shared text

Each individual performance will also include a very short presentation / reading of a classic UK/German concrete poem. This will help join up contemporary practice with the original concrete movement, as well as enriching the poets by learning of other works from the UK/German culture.

Poets' films to run through the three days on loop.


See the Lyrik Kabinett website for more details.


For short biographies of each of the poets taking part, see below.

Typewriter font saying "Visual Poetry for the 21st Century" interspersed with vertical words stating "Klang Farben Text"
Klang Farben Text: Visual Poetry for the 21st Century, typset by curator Chris McCabe ©

Chris McCabe

Chris McCabe, Sound Poem
SJ Fowler live writing at Rich Mix, London

SJ Fowler (curator UK)

SJ Fowler is a poet, artist, curator and vanguardist. He works in the modernist and avant-garde traditions, across poetry, fiction, sonic art, visual art, installation and performance. He has published seven collections of poetry, the latest {Enthusiasm} with Test Centre (2015), and has been commissioned by Tate Britain, the Liverpool Biennial, Penned in the Margins and the London Sinfonietta. His work has been translated into 16 languages and performed at venues across the world, from Mexico City to Erbil, Iraq. He is the poetry editor of 3:AM Magazine and is the curator of the Enemies project.

Chris McCabe (curator UK)

Chris McCabe is the author of five collections of poetry, the latest of which The Triumph of Cancer, which is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. His collaborative project with Maria vlotides, Pharmapoetica, was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes award 2014. He is the co-editor of The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century (Hayward Publishing) and his book of collages, The Affairs of Dylan Thomas, was published by Red Fox Press in 2017. He works as the National Poetry Librarian at The National Poetry Library, Southbank Centre and co-curated the exhibition Visual Poetics in 2013. He is also the editor of the third series of concrete-influenced ‘p.o.w.’ broadsides. His first novel, Dedalus, is published by Henningham Family Press.

Victoria Bean (UK)

Victoria Bean is a poet and artist living in London, and is a founding member of Arc Editions. Her work has been shown at the Tate, ICA, and the Courtauld Institute of Art, and collected by university libraries throughout United States. In addition to co-editing this anthology, she has hand-typed The World Geography of Concrete Poetry — a metre-long history of the early concrete poetry movement. Her first collection, Caught, was published in 2011 and her second, Liberties, in 2017.

Kimberly Campanello (UK)

Kimberly Campanello was born in Elkhart, Indiana. Her poetry publications include Consent, Imagines and Strange Country (both on the sheela-na-gig stone carvings), and Hymn to Kālī (her version of the Karpūrādi-stotra). MOTHERBABYHOME, a collection of 796 conceptual and visual poems on the St. Mary's Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co. Galway, was published by zimZalla Avant Objects in April 2019. Kimberly's poems have appeared most recently in Blackbox Manifold, Tentacular, Poetry Ireland Review, Banshee and Poetry Wales. She is featured in the Irish poetry section of Poetry International Web. Her work has appeared in anthologies published by Laudanum, Bloodaxe, the Enemies Project, EBL-Ciel Abierto, and Boiler House. She has been awarded residencies at the Fundación Valparaíso, the Heinrich Böll Cottage, and The Studios of Key West and was awarded a 2019 Markievicz Award from Ireland's Arts Council and the Department of Culture.

Robert Montgomery (UK)

Robert Montgomery is from Chapelhall, Scotland; he studied at Edinburgh College of art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He has realised major outdoor text installations in light on the site of the old us air Force base at Tempelhof, Berlin, and the old imperial port city of Fort Kochi, India, as the British artist selected for the 2012 Kochi-Muziris Biennale. His work has been included in exhibitions across the world. Monographs on his work have been published by Galerie Nuke, Paris, and Monokultur, Berlin. He was part of a public art commission for the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2014.

Barrie Tullet (UK)

Barrie Tullett is Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design at the Lincoln School of Art and Design, and cofounder of the Caseroom Press, an artists’ book collective based in Lincoln and Edinburgh. As a freelance graphic designer, his clients have included Canongate Books, Princeton University Press and Penguin Books. He is the author of Typewriter Art: A Modern Anthology (Laurence King, 2014) and he has recently completed The Typographic Dante, a series of Typographic Illustrations for Dante’s Divine Comedy. Each book of the trilogy is illustrated through a different ‘obsolete’ technology: Letterpress, Typewriting and Letraset. 

Michael Lentz (Kurator DE)

Michael Lentz, born 1964 in Düren, is an author, musician and interpreter of experimental texts and sound poems. Since 1989 he has been a member of the ensemble of composer Josef Anton Riedl, the programme designer of the series Klang-Aktionen – Neue Musik München. Since 1996 he has curated the series of events "Soundbox - Akustische Kunst" in Munich, which has presented artists such as Jaap Blonk, Peter Brötzmann, Bob Cobbing, Eugen Gomringer, Bernard Heidsieck, Thomas Kapielski, Arrigo Lora-Totino, Franz Mon, Oskar Pastior, Josef Anton Riedl, Gerhard Rühm, Roland Sabatier, Valeri Scherstjanoi and Amanda Stewart. His two-volume, over twelve hundred-page critical documentary inventory (and at the same time his dissertation) Lautpoesie / -musik nach 1945 (Vienna, 2000) became the benchmark reference work in this field. Of Lentz's numerous awards, the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize 2001 and the Prize of Literature Houses 2005 are just a few. He is President of the Free Academy of Arts in Leipzig (Freien Akademie der Künste zu Leipzig) and was appointed as the Chair of Literary Writing at the German Literature Institute Leipzig (University of Leipzig) in 2006, a position that he still holds today. Since 2014 he has been a member of the German Academy for Language and Poetry (der Deutschen Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung) in Darmstadt.

Gerhild Ebel (DE)

Gerhild Ebel, born in Halle 1965, studied plant pathology at the University of Halle until her diploma in 1990. Since 1988 she has published numerous conceptual works bridging language, image and science: approx. 50 book publications by various publishers since 1993, and also as an editor - such as the original graphic encyclopedia for experimental literature and art "art_lex"; she has also organised numerous exhibitions and received grants and art prizes for her work. Her works can be found in around 50 international museums (including MOMA, New York; Center Pompidou, Paris). She lives in Halle and Berlin.


FALKNER, born Michaela Falkner in Austria in 1970, is a writer, playwright and radio play director in Vienna and Algiers. She did her doctorate in political psychology (on the topic of "Verbal Constructs"). FALKNER sees her work, in whatever medium, as manifestos: a complete work that she develops, records and updates bit by bit, number by number, a world formula and formula for yearning in 55 parts. The gesture of FALKNER's work is a search for forms of expression across all genre and genre boundaries, which she stages as texts in performative, theatrical-declamatory ways. Most recently published: "Manifest 54", in: Neue Rundschau, issue 2019/3, Michael Lentz (ed.), Frankfurt 2019; "Manifest 52", in: Seismographie des Hörspiels. 40 Jahre Hörspiel des Monats. 30 Jahre Hörspiel des Jahres, Deutsche Akademie der Darstellenden Künste (publisher), München 2017. Earlier publications were published by Czernin Verlag, Vienna: Falkner II. Falkner II. Eine Moritat in siebzehn Bildern, 2006; A Fucking Masterpiece, 2005.

Angelika Janz (DE)

Angelika Janz, born in Düsseldorf in 1952, has lived in Western Pomerania since 1991. She is the author of poetry, prose, essay writing and visual poetry and has been dealing with the relationship, correspondence and 'stitching' of image and text in the visual arts since the 1970s, for example, with her essay „Fragment als Haltung“. She received the Experimental Literature Award of the City of Düsseldorf in 1981 and numerous other grants and awards. Individual publications most recently: tEXt bILd, Fragmentgedichte und poetologische Texte. Edited by Michael Gratz, Greifswald 2013; Traue dem Wechsel, Koblenz 2014; Draußen ging das Leben weiter, aber die Filme rissen ein, Putbus 2015.

Benedikt Kuhn (DE)

Benedikt Kuhn, born in Heidelberg in 1994, studied philosophy at the University of Leipzig and at the German Literature Institute in Leipzig, and was a scholarship holder at the German National Academic Foundation. He works in a font-based manner in various media, including Installation, performance, video.

Jürgen O. Olbrich (DE)

Jürgen O. Olbrich: “Born in Bielefeld in 1955, lives in Kassel. Everything else happened. "(Jürgen O. Olbrich)

External links