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N. H. Pritchard – The Matrix

Long out of print, Norman H. Pritchard’s masterworkpresents a decade of poetic experimentation from 1960 to 1970. Inflected with—and perhaps an influence on—Black Arts, the precise architecture of Pritchard’s book (the poems and their design) stage an unexpected meeting of Concrete Poetry with Olson’s “open field” poetics and Cage’s chance operations.

The seventy-one poems of Pritchard’s debut might be regarded, as Charles Bernstein has written, as “sound” poems tethered not only to the literature of the early Umbra group and the Black Arts Movement but also to jazz culture and urban life in New York. Drawing as much from the visual arts as from sound-based experimentation and music, Pritchard utilized the simple tools of spacing and typography to create syncopations, vibrations, and musical rhythms. What emerges is nothing less than a self-contained system of mimetic codes that challenge modernist modes of perception and representation. Formally innovative and anticipating what Michel Riffaterre would come to call the semiotics of “ungrammaticalities,” the book is a syntactical and visual experience in repetition, stutters, and structure.


Welcome to this 'huge/entering' of concrete breath—unprecedented, unsurpassed.

Fred Moten


This book is co-published by Primary Information, and Ugly Duckling Press, 2021

Publisher Ugly Duckling Press & Primary Information

SBN: 978-1-734489-79-8
Trade Paperback
232 pp, 5.375 x 8.125 in
Publication Date: March 02 2021