Bob Cobbing Biography
(1920–2002), Kroklok, Sound Poems: An ABC in Sound, A Peal in Air, Vowels and Consequences
British poet, born in Enfield, Middlesex, educated at Enfield Grammar School and Bognor Training College. After working as a teacher and bookshop manager, he became a freelance writer and performer of his work in 1967. He has also edited several magazines, notably Kroklok, and publishes editions of experimental poetry under the Writers' Forum imprint. Although some of his early poems followed conventional procedures, Cobbing is best known for his dedicated pursuit of the possibilities of concrete poetry and sound poetry. Sound Poems: An ABC in Sound (1965), his first substantial publication, was followed by some ninety titles; among the volumes of his collected works which have appeared since 1977 are A Peal in Air (1978), Vowels and Consequences (1985), and Improvisation Is a Dirty Word: Collected Poems 12 (1990). The distinctions between textual and graphic art are obviated in Cobbing's writing, words and letters forming the material for highly ingenious visual arrangements. He regards his poems in their printed forms as scores for performance and has participated in most of the International Sound Poetry Festivals in Europe and America in recent decades. See also underground poetry.