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This article is taken from PN Review 249, Volume 46 Number 1, September - October 2019.

Rubber Stamps
Michael Augustin on his Visual Poems
Michael Augustin
A pair of scissors, a tube of glue, carton paper and a photocopy machine – such have been my beloved tools since I had moved from my old black and white fine line drawings to the fantastic field of collage.

Readers of PN Review may remember samples of my work printed along with poems or essays by various authors. The collages, like the drawings before, don’t need any captions or even titles – they simply stand for themselves – or rather: they speak for themselves. At their best they work as visual poems, containing fragments of untold narratives or unwritten verse. No translation is required as I have experienced with great pleasure when magazines or journals in places as far apart as Ireland, Korea, Mexico, Indonesia or the USA and Canada printed my collages. Some of my books published in Germany by Edition Temmen contain entire series of collages which do not actually illustrate my poems or prose miniatures – but should be looked at as independent entities. At the same time however, I do see my graphic work limping along shoulder to shoulder with my written work. There’s humour, of course, irony – a fond love for the paradox and the surreal. And to tell you the truth: wielding the scissors and squeezing the tube of glue has always been an incredibly useful activity to bridge and to overcome periods of writer’s block. It has saved my equilibrium more than once.

Whenever I’m travelling I cherish the possibility to scour local flea markets ...


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