Archive of: melville, nick-e

13 by nick-e melville

The first work I ever saw of nick-e melville's was Letter of resignation, though I think the version I saw didn't have the additional text portion and was nothing but the lone lonely letter. Or maybe I just prefer to remember it that way. Brilliant, I thought, and still do think. A perfect example of what I would call the spot-on center of my notion of minimalist concrete poetry.

There is no one whose work has been featured here whose whole range of interest is even barely touched upon by these entries, and this one is no exception. I don't know anyone, really, who is working exclusively in minimalist concrete poetry mode, nor would I recommend it.

In order to produce the very best minimalist concrete work one needs to be fluent in as many modes of expression as possible. To work in this sparse space there is no room for error, no room for the slightest imprecision. It is here that the blade is honed to its most precise edge. But, even the sharpest edge is of no real lasting use on a blade comprised of too few layers of folds. The more folds beaten into the metal, the stronger the blade and the sharper the edge that can be both attained and maintained. Other modes of expression are the folds in the metal that give the strength and ability to hold the sharpest of edges. A proficiency with minimalist concrete poetry is one of the best whetstones I know for bringing a poetic skill-set to scalpel-sharpness.

Here's the sharpened blade. If you like the way it slices, please venture further out and into the other works of nick-e melville listed below, you won't be disappointed.

Please click on these thumbnails to enlarge.

four self-portraits


homage to seiichi nīkuni

eight rain poems




nick-e melville hails from Scotland, where he bides with his wife and their three children. He can be lazy, distracted easily, but means well. In 1997 and 2000 he produced and starred in shows at the Pleasance during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, but the rising costs have since priced out most local artists and performers — maybe next time. Last year he started a Scottish focused webzine,, but struggled to update it; issue two is nearing completion and it is nick-e's intention to keep the kettle boiling from now on. This year he started Acton press; see Procession, the blog of PERSISTENCIA*PRESS for a review of its first chapbook, nick-e's own, Office Gnomics. Some of his work was also included in the Blends & Bridges: A Survey of International Contemporary Visual Poetry & Related Art show in Cleveland earlier this year.

Dozens of nick-e's poems have appeared in Scottish magazines and anthologies, including Chapman, Island, New Writing Scotland, and a dedicated issue of the broadsheet Poetry Scotland. There are two concrete images in the current edition of sleepingfish 0.875, and he has work forthcoming in Dirt #3, Saint Elizabeth Street, as well as horoscope, one of the second PO25EM series of chapbooks from furniture press. Some on-line work can be viewed at the links below: