Autobio Re:Graphy


Michael Peters is the author of the sound-imaging poem Vaast Bin (Calamari Press, 2007) and other assorted language art and sound works. As certain as he is uncertain of access to “the real,” he frequently tests and probes that periphery.

Various manifestations of his “writings” have appeared in print and online journals like Barzakh, PEEP/SHOWSleepingFishBright Pink Mosquito, Word for/Word, BathHouse Hypermedia Journal, unarmed, LUNGFULL!, RhinoSpinning Jenny, Sous Rature, Tool A MagazineLost and Found TimesAmerican WeddingsMad Hatters’ Review, and Hyperrhiz: New Media Cultures, to name a few. Visual-poetic manifestations can be found in various avant-garde libraries and special collections, such as the Sackner Archive. His work has appeared in various art galleries and visual poetry anthologies such as Vispoeologee (Minnesota Center for Book Arts Winter Book, 2007), Anthology Spidertangle (Xexoxial Editions, 2009), and The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998 – 2008 (Fantagraphics Books, 2012). In 2009, his “Graphy for the Ensemble” was included in the first run of The Paper Kite Press Visual Poetry Poster Series.

Michael Peters speaks Yeti.

—Maria Damon

Peters cut his teeth in the musical group Poem Rocket, and continues to explore sound-imaging in solo performances, improvisational collaborations, and installations. With Poem Rocket, recorded sounds appear on labels such as the Chicago avant jazz and rock label—Atavistic—as well as on renowned underground labels from the 1990s like PCP Entertainment and Magic Eye. Peters is also an original member of the Be Blank Consort (BBC) with recordings on Luna Bisonte Prods. Sound collaborators are not only the Be Blank Consort, but Al Margolis (If, Bwana), Area C, and Jack Wright, among others. Peters has read, lectured, and performed at events in a wide array of venues, including The &Now Festival of Experimental Literature (2006 and 2009), The Bowery Poetry Club with the BBC (2006) and again with Area C (2007), SubTropics Experimental Music Festival (2005), Issue Project Room (2008) with Al Margolis, The Roanoke Marginal Arts Festival (2009), The Subterranean Poetry Festival (2010), The Avant Writing Symposium in Columbus, Ohio (2010), and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago for a Fluxfest Chicago event with the BBC (2011). In addition to a Vaast Bin reading at The &Now Festival in the Fall of 2009, Peters also created a vaast bin sound-imaging installation—and did not fail to install himself.

Vaast Bin (Calamari, 2007) exceeds traditional ideas of “the book” or “poetry.” It is a sound-imaging work, but is only part of a greater Vaast Bin Project, which features combinatory elements co-existing in a spectrum of new and old media—often with environmental applications.

Unfortunately, many who write in the more usual ways feel that “otherwise” works are attacks upon them and their own works.  Those who strongly favor the co-existence of both usual and “otherwise” works get it from both sides.

—Jackson Mac Low

As publisher of innovative language arts, Peters served as editor of The Little Magazine, as contributing editor to Jim Leftwich’s journal Xtant, and most recently, as contributing editor to issue 16 of Word for/Word. Peters has also published essays on “Charles Olson and Gravitational Waves,” which appeared in an anthology on Olson’s Prose (Cambridge Scholars), as well as several entries for Kostelanetz’s Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes (Routledge). A transcription of Sun Ra’s 1971 lecture at UC Berkeley appeared in Nathaniel Mackey’s Hambone (19). Currently, Peters is working on a book about sound environment programming, post-1945.