Name: J.S. Makkos
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Current City: New Orleans, LA
Occupation: Archivist & Printer
What does poetry mean to you?:
Poetry is the word some people use to talk about poems, but for me it’s been about wordfare and wordcraft: breaking into the landscape of signs, signifiers, and the signified, cutting through and expanding out into a world that reveals possibilities of what language can be, outside of ourselves. Poetry is the very making of meaning, be it through meter, sound symbolism or through phonoaesthetics. We deploy various devices to serve the imaginative plane where interpretation and agency are simultaneously at play by creator and destroyer, by the viewed and viewer. Poetry remains as a forum for expressive expansion, the variable lens or looking glass illuminating the often fleeting yet infinite focal points of the human experience.
Stéphane Mallarmé's book-length poem Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard (A throw of the dice will never abolish chance)
Here is a sample page:
Why do you like this poet/poem?:
It entreats me as a poet, as interpreter, to consider all new possibilities in the field of language as a medium perpetually in play. This work recreates the page with words and sounds as a dance across the pulpy canvas. It cuts the plain into pieces reinventing and reminding, through both form and function, the necessity for poetry to remain illusive, indeterminate, as a means for arriving at new meaning barely graspable by the fingertips of expression.
J.S. Makkos is a writer, printmaker, and a self-described media archaeologist who has salvaged and restored historic printing equipment from at least a dozen print shops to date. Using these resources he actively runs CODEX in New Orleans, a design studio and print shop that focuses on artful production and independent publishing. In another capacity he curates Nola DNA, a one-of-a-kind archive of some 30,000 historic New Orleans newspapers dating from the late 19th to the early 20th century. In 2016 he toured Europe for the 100th anniversary of Dada with Dadalogue, visiting Dadaist collections, attending exhibitions on Dadaism, working in various print shops, and giving a performance at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. The work he made during this tour is currently part of the Typo-DADAist100 exhibition, which is traveling to over a dozen cities around Europe through 2018. He currently co-hosts the weekly No Good Poetry podcast.