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Between the visible and the legible: The French poet and printer Jérôme Peignot dreamt of a typographic poetry where the sign, the signifier, and the signified would form an indissoluble unit. He found examples in typography itself, in visual poetry, in figures of numerals, in concrete paintings, and sometimes in musical scores. For the result, he coined the terms “typoetry” (“typoèsie”) and “typoems” (“typoèmes”).


My typoems are units of alphabet, font, the chosen word itself, or of random letters, their colour, and the specific arrangement, all of which is visible but none of which is legible. Some of the components refer to the outside world, while the typoems themselves are auto-referential. The titles are as often helpful as they are at times misleading.


I do not use computers for my poetry. All my concrete, visual, and asemic poems are written by hand, with a fountain pen or – as in this case – with watercolours.


Stephan Wagner

Québec, 2022


36 pages, 148 x 210 mm, full colour digital print, perfect bound.

Stephan Wagner, Typoèmes

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