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Enzo Minarelli
Seen by Dean Suzuki

Enzo Minarelli: Sound Poet Extraodinaire

Without question, Enzo Minarelli is one of the most significant sound poets of our time. First and foremost, he is a distinguished, important, even profound creative artist. His body of work, which he most appropriately terms "poly-poetry", includes not only conventional sound poetry, but also embraces inter-media sound poetry (his performances frequently include slide projections, musique concrete and the use of instruments and noise/sound emitting objects), concrete poetry or what Minarelli calls "phono-graphies", visual art works utilizing the written word and images associated with music and geometry, video poetry, and performance art. The content of his art deals with issues of semantics and meaning, timbre, word play, art history, onomotopoeia, politics, philsophy, aesthetics and much more, but in an indirect, non-linear, and truly experimental fashion.

However, Minarelli's signficance in the realm of sound poetry goes far beyond the creative act and performance. Minarelli is one of the greatest and most respected champions of sound poetry. He is an historian, record producer, impresario, educator, lecturer, essayist, and advocate. His passion for his art and the genre has led him to organize an international symposium and festival of sound poetry in Bologna, an annual event since 1996 featuring and attracting sound poets and scholars from around the world.

His 3ViTre series of sound poetry recordings stands in the proud tradition of Fylkingen, Ou, Giorno Poetry Systems, and it is the only one from among these that is still active and focused on sound poetry.

He is balanced in his presentation of works by elder statesmen as well as up and coming artists. He seeks to offer sound poetry from around the globe, from the revered to the obscure. When the 3ViTre made the transition from seven inch records to twelve inch Lps, he embarked on a project devoting each side of the album to artists from Italy, plus one other country or language (e.g. Canada, the United States, Hungary, plus Spain and Mexico).

As a champion and advocate of sound poetry, he is concerned not with advancing or promoting a single style or school of thought; the only item on his agenda is to present quality work and that which is at the vanguard.

He is interested in broadening the scope and audience for sound poetry through his efforts. He regards his activities as an advocate as being so vitally important that he has sacrificed hundreds of hours and incalculable effort at the expense of his own creative endeavors. His role as an evangelist for sound poetry cannot be easily measured, but there can be no question that he has enlarged the arena and raised the conciousness / increased the awareness of sound poetry, its gift to the world of art and its significant role in the contemporary arts.

Fortunately for the sound poetry community, he has managed to strike a balance and he continues to engage in the creative act.

In addition to being a gifted artist and dedicated patron, Enzo Minarelli is a fine human being, warm, generous, full of good humor with a zeal for life and the arts. I am proud and honored to count him among my friends.

The world of sound poetry owes this man an enormous debt of gratitude for his artisty, advocacy and humanity which it can never fully repay.

Dean Suzuki
San Francisco State University

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