Monday, August 13, 2018

A review of Michael Jacobson's Works & Interviews by Federico Federici

"Works and interviews" by Michael Jacobson is a collection of both asemic scripts ("The Giant's Fence", "Action Figures", "A Headhunter's Tale"), interviews and other textual installations ("THAT: A Planet", "The Paranoia Machine", "MK JCBSN").
The first three sections challenge the reader to enter a net of finely entangled patterns and explore the residual signs of plots, which the paranoid characters, once inhabiting there, left deliberately behind.
Page after page, a carousel of abandoned or accidental symbols, of dreams cropped from a broader vision is delivered to the brain, which is supposed to edit and reassemble them into full narrative frameworks. Readers turn into spies collecting evidences of the impenetrable shelter of meaning. They may even find themselves connected to peripheral cameras, recording the relentless brain activities on the verge of dreaming.
Under a different perspective, the storytelling approach of this book convincingly relies on a cornerstone of asemic practice: however paradoxical it may seem, the intrinsic coherence of asemicism generates meaningfulness while stimulating the aptitude of readers to scan symbols in a meaningful way.
Asemic works act as blank tapes, simultaneously activated, recorded and erased again while watched. Each reader is, as such, an accomplice of the writer and possibly its desired alter ego.
A mirror is not an image in itself, but it has the property of imaging, likewise each asemic text does not exhibit a meaning of its own, but it is some sort of filter, capable of simulating and stimulating meaningfulness, engaging the reader into this unprecedented task.

- Federico Federici

Click here for Works & Interviews

Saturday, August 11, 2018

2 Great New Asemic Writing / Poem Brut Books by Steven J. Fowler

Aletta Ocean's Alphabet Empire  (Hesterglock Press, 2017), & I Fear My Best Work Behind Me. (Stranger Press, 2017),  are two great works of asemic handwriting from author SJ Fowler (Steven J. Fowler).

Aletta Ocean's Alphabet Empire is the more unreadable of the two. It contains mostly black and white asemic writing with the occasional "Picasso blue" page of asemic script. The art/writing has a storm like quality to it with asemic lightning bolts cutting across the surface of the folios. Other pages seem to contain illegible asemic animal tracks, and still others remind me of Morse code birch bark dashes. This book's main focus and general theme is the raw erotic power of creation of an excelled asemic mythology. AOAE is presented in a fine hardcover volume by Hesterglock Press and is limited to 40 copies.

I Fear My Best Work Behind Me is the slightly more legible of the two and is more colourful than Aletta. It has a spring-like playfulness and joy bringing qualities that makes me think of an asemic Kenneth Patchen crossed with finger painted art. There are a few more recognizable drolleries such as a deer's head and a crab, and the skulls on the cover art, but most of the text/art is nebulous. Fowler has acknowledged the influence of Christian Dotremont and Henri Michaux in this book, but from these predecessors he has developed his own original calligraphic style and signature. The publisher Stranger Press has taken Steven's work and made an admirable codex which I will treasure.

Both works offer an excellent introduction to Steven J. Fowler's personal raw art poetry. This is Poem Brut in its finest form, a term I believe coined by Steven to describe the outsider poetry not created with a computer. It is refreshing to read/hold these handwritten books since they offer a respite and rest from today's bloated techno-culture. Asemic books are the ultimate captcha and prove we are not robots. It is invigorating to read through these two works in a time when everything is being digitized, to have these two beautiful works of resistance now is essential. Find these books and you will know.

Friday, August 10, 2018

100 Hybrids by Jefferson Hansen is available now in the shop at Minnesota Center for Book Arts & Eat My Words Bookstore here in Minneapolis!

Jeff and I dropped off some copies of his new book 100 Hybrids at Minnesota Center for Book Arts today. We also dropped off copies at Eat My Words bookshop here in NE Minneapolis. These are the only 2 physical bookshops currently offering Jeff's book at the moment. 100 Hybrids is available for $12 at these 2 locations. So if you are local, or are visiting Minneapolis, these are 2 great bookstores to support where you can find Jeff's book while browsing the shelves. Next month, on Saturday September 22 at 6pm at Boneshaker books (another great local shop here in Minneapolis), there will be a poetry reading/asemic writing hybrid event and book release party for 100 Hybrids. More details of the reading will be coming soon. All Post-Asemic Press titles are currently available at MCBA. Jeff's book is the only PAP title at Eat My Words.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

3 Great Amazon Reviews for Works & Interviews by Michael Jacobson | Post-Asemic Press #001

July 24, 2018
Format: Paperback

The Giant’s Fence is an evolving asemic visual narrative, written in trans-symbolic script, that can be read aesthetically. Any meaning the reader constructs from the text is a correct translation; it is open to personal interpretation and exploration—Michael Jacobson

Jacobson’s Works & Interviews (1999-2017) is quintessential ‘reading’ for anyone interested in asemic literature. The book includes three asemic stories—the “Giant’s Fence” (my favorite), “Action Figures” (reminiscent of Kenneth Patchen’s picture poems), and “A Headhunter’s Tale” (asemic glyphs punctuated by facial expressions). The asemic stories are followed by interviews, which give insight into the philosophy of asemic literature. Following the interviews are several other asemic works: “THAT: A Planet,” “The Paranoia Machine,” and “MK JCBSN” (Michael Jacobson’s avatar).

“The Giant’s Fence” is a story composed of asemic glyphs i.e. “trans-symbolic script” or symbols that do not reflect anything. This is the raw aspect of language, language without meaning; residue of language after it has been fully deconstructed. The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein made two contributions to the philosophy of language, which should have ended the philosophy of language itself. First, Wittgenstein responded to the “picture theory” of language, which suggested that language’s function was to create a picture of the world. The philosophical task was to determine how to make the most accurate depiction of the world. This would amount to understanding how language pictures the world, but Wittgenstein argued that this cannot be done, because it would just be more language ad infinitum. This is where he cites his famous dictum at the end of Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus: 'That whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must remain silent.’

In his later theory on language, he dropped the idea that language was designed to picture the world—or at least that was not the only function of language. Instead, language was simply a tool that humans used to get things done and that all this philosophy of language was wasting its time. Later on, Jacques Derrida argued that meaning—in language—comes about through difference—a combination of difference and deference. Therefore, an absolutely true meaning of a term is impossible. Although he tells us that this is impossible, he does not get rid of the notion of meaning, he simply hides it in the metaphysical ether.

Asemic text, such as the “Giant’s Fence,” is the residue of language when it has been fully deconstructed and meaning is lost in the metaphysical ether. Its loss is not to be lamented, but instead it is to be celebrated and this is what asemic writers do—they celebrate the loss of meaning by mimicking language with aesthetic glyphs. This is what Jacobson means when he tells readers that the “Giant’s Fence” can be read aesthetically and that any interpretation is correct.

Reading Jacobson’s asemic text is an experience. As suggested one does not simply read asemic literature, instead one experiences it and there’s no better place to start than with the work of Michael Jacobson.

He is also very active in the asemic world, he runs a website that introduces the works of asemic artists throughout the world: The New Post-literate: A Gallery Of Asemic Writing.

July 29, 2018
Format: Paperback

Some thoughts by Rosaire Appel on "Works and Interviews"
Jacobson’s lucid articulations about asemic writing put you in the right mind-set for reading his, or anyone’s, asemic work. It is a different kind of reading, one that you invent on the spot –letting it evolve as you interact with the pages over time. Although very different, I think of Xu Bing’s “Book from the Ground”, which consists entirely of emojis. We know these symbols, but reading a book of them requires a focus that is different from, and more individualistic than, conventional word-symbol reading. Jacobson’s “The Giant’s Fence” and “Action Figures” both included in this volume, don’t use any conventional symbols. Instead, he creates conventions of his own. The reader decides how to move through these lines of configurations, at what speed, with what in mind. This kind of writing is a form of freedom – artistic and conceptual. Jacobson’s use of this freedom is so highly controlled and aware of itself that his language becomes readable. This turns reading into an act of freedom, when you let it.

July 21, 2018
Format: Paperback

This book offers reprints of three important asemic works by Jacobson: "The Giant's Fence," "Action Figures," and "A Headhunter's Tale." Each is a world onto itself, and is written using a style specific to the book. Most of the rest of the book is composed of interviews of Jacobson that concern the history, import, and "meaning" of asemic writing. Not only does this book offer some wonderful extended examples of asemic writing, but it helps ground the reader in the movement itself.

Click here for more information about Works & Interviews by Michael Jacobson | Post-Asemic Press #001

Monday, July 30, 2018

A Request for Reviews of Asemic Writing Titles Available @ Amazon!

I have been going through the asemic Amazon list and reviewing titles from other presses, besides Post-Asemic Press books, to support the asemic writing community. So far I have written reviews for 11 books where asemic writing is an essential part of the text. I am going to write one a day until I have covered all of the asemic works on my wish list. Writing a review is a good way to practice writing and is enjoyable too! I even plan on reviewing the Voynich Manuscript!

If you would like to support Post-Asemic Press beyond purchasing a title, please consider writing a review. Every review helps PAP titles gather a wider audience.

Click here for a list of most of the asemic writing books on Amazon:

Here are all the Post-Asemic Press titles available at Amazon USA that I need reviews for. I can trade a book for a review if anyone is interested.
Contact me here for more information:

Here is a screenshot of the first 3 PAP titles on the list:

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Jefferson Hansen was interviewed about his book '100 Hybrids' by Michael Jacobson for Steven J. Fowler's Poem Brut website | 100 Hybrids is Post-Asemic Press #007

Steven J. Fowler published an interview I did with Jefferson Hansen on his Poem Brut website. Click here to read the interview:

In the interview Jeff and I discuss his book of asemic writing 100 Hybrids along with other publications of his.

Here is 100 Hybrids from Post-Asemic Press:

It is available now for $12.00 from Amazon.

Friday, July 20, 2018

100 Hybrids by Jefferson Hansen is Available Now @ Amazon USA, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, India, & Japan

Page 1 of 100 Hybrids

100 Hybrids offers a new poetic form: the combination of one stanza poems with handwritten asemic writing. While the poems explore issues of surveillance, artificial intelligence, social isolation, and magical realism, the asemic writing surrounding them plays off and sometimes against the poems. They often feature small, seeming "symbols" that proliferate meanings in a playful way. Other times the asemic writing looks like mazes or tight, layered nonwriting. 100 Hybrids brings the primal, prelinguistic gestures of writing, the asemic, into vibrant and complicated interactions with poetry.

-Publisher's description

This book is a journal of the poet’s resilience trying to find what isn’t here and what isn’t now with sharp, melancholic entries.  My quick blurb is that 100 Hybrids is pithiness on acid! Each independent, single-paged stanza –which range from vignettes about isolation to short slam eruptions– is framed by alien glyphs that complement and defy the words they contain. Some hybrids have coastlines or sit within broken mazes, but Jeff places most of his poetic observations within intuitively-prompted or automatic symbols that express other sounds, interactions, and/or meanings. Several of the frames remind me of Erich Von Daniken’s Rolodex; others of Lemuria; most that our words, facts, and realities are limited and limiting. Genuinely fun and thoughtful tangents that don't lead to Rome. I took this book on a trip, and it returned the favor.

-Thomas M. Cassidy

Jefferson Hansen’s 100 Hybrids trust themselves. Hand-drawn language and images conjoin to render fresh experiences encompassing nature (“In the night before / the sideways sun / fish flit like purple / and dart like blue”); consciousness (“The only success is guesswork”); and social reality (“This book is under surveillance”). I am captivated by the naturalness of Hansen’s artistry that depicts with deep appreciation how it feels to be alive.

-Sheila E. Murphy

Click On The Following Links To Purchase 100 Hybrids at Amazon:




Amazon Germany (Deutschland):

Amazon Spain (España):

Amazon Italy (Italia): 

Amazon Mexico:

Amazon Australia:

Amazon Brazil: 

Amazon India:

Amazon Japan: 

Jefferson Hansen lives in Minneapolis and is the author of the selected poems Jazz Forms
the novel And Beefheart Saved Craig, and the short story collection Cruelty.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

PAP Family Portrait: There Are Now 7 Titles From Post-Asemic Press! Jefferson Hansen's book '100 Hybrids' will be available by August!

The PAP family of titles

The proof copy of 100 Hybrids is in! Jefferson has worked long and hard on these poems mixed with handwritten asemic writing and I am very excited to release the book on Post-Asemic Press. In 100 Hybrids, words and asemic writing unite to tell a story of balance between the human hand and modern technology. Asemic writing depends on the internet for asemic cultural diffusion of calligraphic scribal artifacts, and Jefferson's work is a futuristic look into the potentiality of handwriting. It captures the asemic/verbal poetry of the techno-evolutionary now more than any other book I have read, and holds its place well in the online/offline tension of modern society by way of Jefferson's dry rolling humor. Some of the poems in this book break free with asemic calligraphic elation, and others are closed in on by the asemic author's hunt for meaning in a surveillance society. All in all it's a strong work of mental awareness for the current poetic condition.

100 Hybrids will be available from Amazon by August of 2018, and will sell for $12.00. This book will appeal to both lovers of poetry and the current wave of interest in asemic writing.  100 Hybrids is book #007 from Post-Asemic Press.

-Michael Jacobson

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Asemic Cut-Ups by Kelly Nelson

Kelly Nelson is a poet and anthropologist who teaches Interdisciplinary Studies at Arizona State University. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks and her work has appeared in Anomaly, Interim, Forklift, Ohio, Seattle Review, Best American Experimental Writing and elsewhere. More at