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Bob Cobbing

Bob Cobbing (1920 - 2002) is considered one of the most famous British poets of the 20th century. The artist and poet is a representative of concrete and visual poetry, as well as sound poetry, and one of the most famous sound poets in the world.

Cobbing worked first as an accountant and then as a teacher at Bognor Training College. After teaching, he became manager of the Better Books bookstore in London (Charing Cross Road) in the 1960s, which became a well-known meeting place for the underground scene. The bookstore also served for readings, as a stage, cinema and gallery. Cobbing began showing avant-garde films at the same time, which went under the title Cinema 65 and is considered a precursor to the London Film-Makers' Co-op. In 1966, he also founded the Association of Little Presses in London. In 1968, he founded the Westminster Group of Experimental Poets (WOUP).

Before subsequently devoting himself to performing his own work as a freelance writer, he had already published And magazine in 1951, and then Kroklok magazine. In 1963, together with John Rowan and Jeff Nuttall, he founded Writers Forum as a publishing house and poetry forum. By 2002, Writers Forum had published more than 1000 pamphlets, booklets, and books on experimental poetry. Many of Bob Cobbing's own works were published, as well as works by artists such as John Cage, Ian Hamilton Finlay, and Allen Ginsberg. Frenchman Pierre Garnier and Italian Arrigo Lora-Totino participated as guests at the Writers Workshop in 1990.

Bob Cobbing has participated in most international festivals of sound poetry in Europe and America.


Bob Cobbing's best known sound poems include:

    1964: ABC In Sound
    1967: Kurrirriri
    1968: Six Sound Poems
    1969: Whisper Piece
    1970: Etcetera: A New Collection of Found and Sound Poems

Works for listening