Ugly Duckling Presse, 2021. 203pp., 5.5 x 8 inches
Originally published by Doubleday and Company in 1970, N.H. Pritchard’s The Matrix was one of a tiny handful of books of concrete poetry published in America by a major publishing house. Sadly, the book was given little support and was not promoted, and it has long been out of print. However, it remains a cherished item for fans of poetry due to its unique composition, and difficult but rewarding poetics. Forcing the reader to straddle the line between reading and viewing, the book features visual poems that predate the experiments of the Language poets, including words that are exploded into their individual letters, and columns of text that ride the edge of the page.
Praised as a “FREE souled” work by Allen Ginsberg, The Matrix feels as fresh and necessary today as when it was first published. This new facsimile edition, copublished by Primary Information and Ugly Duckling Presse, makes the book available to a new generation of readers.