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Robert Fitterman and Vanessa Place: Notes on Conceptualisms
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| $12 ($10 direct from UDP)
Perfect-bound. 80 pp, 4.5 x 6 in.
ISBN 978-1-933254-46-3
Publication Date: January 1, 2009
Series: Dossier

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What is conceptual writing, how does it differ from Conceptual Art, what are some of the dominant forms of conceptualism,where does an impure or hybrid conceptualism fit in, what about the baroque, what about the prosody of procedure, what are the links between appropriation and conceptual writing, how does conceptual writing rely on a new way of reading, a “thinkership” that can shift the focus away from the text and onto the concept, what is the relationship between conceptual writing and technology or information culture, and why has this tendency taken hold in the poetry community now?

What follows, then, is a collection of notes, aphorisms, quotes and inquiries on conceptual writing. We have co-authored this text through correspondence, shared reading interests, and similar explorations. Notes on Conceptualisms is far from a definitive text, and much closer to a primer, a purposefully incomplete starting place, where readers, hopefully, can enter so as to participate in the shaping of these ideas.

“The petite, wallet-sized book fits perfectly to that impulse that the tree, in fact, did fall in the forest.  And, you should go see where the hell it fell.” —COLDFRONT

“For those not familiar with conceptualist practices in poetry, I can recommend few better places to start than Notes on Conceptualisms.” —THOM DONOVAN for BOMBLOG   

“But it’s a book you’re going to want to carry around with you as you go about your daily business, being the most ambitious & serious account of the dynamics underlying emergent poetics in the United States I’ve encountered in years.” —RON SILLIMAN 

Click here to purchase a limited-edition SOBJECT t-shirt. You’ll feel better.  


06.25.12 | Vanessa Place interviewed at Jacket 2

04.06.11 | This Time We Are Both, Ventrakl, and Notes on Conceptualisms reviewed in Galatea Resurrects

12.22.10 | SPD’s 2010 bestsellers include Nets, Ten Walks/Two Talks, and Notes on Conceptualisms

12.19.10 | UDP’s Dossier Series is chosen as one of the year’s best on The Millions

11.11.10 | Notes on Conceptualisms tops SPD’s non-fiction Best Seller list

05.27.10 | The Rumpus reviews Notes on Conceptualisms, Ten Walks/Two Talks, and Boris by the Sea

01.31.10 | Coldfront reviews Notes on Conceptualisms, an “amusing and arrow-sharp work”

10.02.09 | Notes on Conceptualisms reviewed by Thom Donovan on the BOMBLOG

06.21.09 | A review of Notes on Conceptualisms appears on For the Birds

06.03.09 | Ron Silliman responds to Notes on Conceptualisms by Vanessa Place and Rob Fitterman on his blog

Robert Fitterman and Vanessa Place

Robert Fitterman is the author of 12 books of poetry, including his long poem Metropolis, which has been published in 4 volumes. Other titles include: now we are friends (Truck Books, 2010), Rob the Plagiarist (Roof Books, 2009), war, the musical (Subpress, 2006) and Notes On Conceptualisms, co-authored with Vanessa Place, (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009). He teaches writing and poetry at New York University and at the Bard College, Milton Avery School of Graduate Studies. Excerpts and reviews of his work can be found on his website:


Vanessa Place is CEO of VanessaPlace Inc., a trans-national corporation whose sole mission is to design and manufacture objects to meet the poetic needs of the human heart, face, and form. She is the author of Dies: A Sentence (Les Figues Press), a 50,000-word, one-sentence prose poem, and the post-conceptual epic La Medusa (Fiction Collective 2). Her nonfiction book, The Guilt Project: Rape and Morality will be published by Other Press in 2010. Place is also a regular contributor to X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly, and is collaborating with Los Angeles conceptual artist Stephanie Taylor on the film Murderous Squaredance at the Spiral Jetty. Place is co-founder of Les Figues Press, described by critic Terry Castle as “an elegant vessel for experimental American writing of an extraordinarily assured and ingenious sort.”