Wednesday, 13 June 2018

benedictine beatnik

A self-described “monknik,” Hyperallergic introduces us to the concrete poetry and cut-up style of Dom Sylvester Houédard, a Benedictine priest and theologian who regularly slipped away from his abbey in the Cotswolds to spend weekends in London, helping to inform the particular genre and scene.
Artfully presented and visually stunning, Houédard’s works are replete with religious references but reflect a view broader than his own tradition, having an affinity for Eastern philosophy as well. Like the poems of his friends and correspondents William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg (who objected to the label beatnik, coined by journalist Herb Caen after the launch of Sputnik), Houédard was interested in acquainting writer and reader “in maximum communication with minimum words,” composing terse and polished little stumbling blocks to cause one to question semantic trappings.