In talking about his work, Arnold Adoff often uses the word “music.” “Writing a poem,” he will say, “is making music with words and space.” Or, “A fine poem combines the elements of meaning, music, and a form like a living frame that holds it together.” To produce this special kind of music, he appeals to the eye as well as the ear. Anyone who has read a book of his poems knows that the way the individual words and letters are set upon the page, the physical shape of each poem, makes a vital contribution to the whole.

Arnold AdoffHe has said, “Writing a poem is making music with words and space.” To make this music happen, he creates jazz-like riffs of sound and shape that entice both the eye and the ear. Using daring strokes of language and form, he challenges the reader to capture the unique beat and rhythm of his poetic scores through live performance. Drawing attention to his unconventional style, he has said, “I have incorporated the concept of time in my writing by the use of space. The millesecond that it takes the eyes to move forward is an aspect of time. Time is the music or the rhythmic force and that, I think, is a step forward in the medium.”

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