Figuring the Word: Essays on Books, Writing and Visual Poetics. Johanna Drucker, intro Charles Bernstein. Granary Books. 1998.

Figuring the Word: Essays on Books, Writing and Visual Poetics.

Granary Books, 1998. Item #GB_59
ISBN: 9781887123235

5 1/2 8 1/2 in., 312 pp., smyth-sewn wrappers.

“Figuring the Word is a work of poetics rather than criticism or theory in that these essays are the products of doing as much as thinking, of printing as much as writing, of designing as much as researching, of typography as much as composition, of autobiography as much as theory. The mark of the practitioner-critic is everywhere present in these pieces: Figuring the Word is a wide-ranging collection of Drucker’s essays from the early ’80s to the present. Written in a variety of styles and presented in a variety of formats, the book reflects many divergent aspects of her work and thinking, while at the same time demonstrating how cohesive her project has been.”
–Charles Bernstein, from introduction to Figuring the Word

This book is a sort of Johanna Drucker reader—yet rather than anthologize from published books, Figuring the Word collects writings published in obscure academic and literary journals or delivered as talks or interviews. The book contains several sections (each with several chapters) including “Writing as Artifact,” “Visual Poetics,” “Artists’ Books Past and Future,” “The Future of Writing,” and “Personal Writing.”

Designed by Johanna Drucker. Illustrated with black and white halftones. Printed offset, this is from an edition of 3000 copies. As new.

ABOUT JOHANNA DRUCKER: Johanna Drucker is the inaugural Breslauer Professor of Bibliographical Studies in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA. She is internationally known for her work in the history of graphic design, typography, experimental poetry, fine art, and digital humanities. In addition, she has a reputation as a book artist, and her limited-edition works are in special collections and libraries worldwide. Her published titles include SpecLab: Digital Aesthetics and Speculative Computing (Chicago, 2009), and Graphic Design History: A Critical Guide with Emily McVarish (Pearson, 2008, 2nd edition in 2012). In 2012 she published Digital_Humanities, with Jeffrey Schnapp, Todd Presner, Peter Lunenfeld, and Anne Burdick (MIT Press) and in 2014, Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production (Harvard University Press). Her work was the subject of a travelling retrospective titled Druckworks: Books and projects 1972-2012, and recent titles include Stochastic Poetics (Granary and Druckwerk, 2012), Downdrift (Three Rooms Press, 2018), and The General Theory of Social Relativity (The Elephants, 2018). She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and received an honorary doctorate from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2016. Read more at

Price: $30.00