Anne Tardos


ANNE TARDOS is the author of seven books of poetry. Her writing is renowned for its fluid use of multiple languages and its innovative forms. She has worked in numerous media, creating performance pieces, radio plays, videos and many CDs, often with her late husband, the poet and composer Jackson Mac Low.

Tardos has taught poetry at many universities. She is among the guest faculty at Naropa University (2008, 1994) and has lectured at Bard College (2008), UC Berkeley (2003), SUNY-Buffalo (2003), The New School (2001), University of Hawaii-Manoa (1999), The School of Poetry of Vienna (1996, 1994, 1993), University of Szeged, Hungary (1993), UC San Diego (1990), School of Visual Arts, New York (1987), SUNY-Albany (1986), and the Brooklyn Museum Art School (1982). She works as an Editorial Consultant for The Nation, Harper’s Magazine and such publishers as Simon & Schuster and Random House.

Tardos’s poetry has appeared in dozens of journals, including The Germ, Chain, Washington Square, and several issues of Conjunctions.

Her latest book, I Am You (Salt Publishing, 2008), is a collection of three long poems that explore the limits of language, time, subjectivity and grief. A deeply personal elegy for Mac Low, I Am You is also a poetic inquiry into the boundaries of the human subject. As poet John Kinsella writes, “it is a brilliant and disturbing masterpiece – an unpicking of elegy and its inevitable entanglements with ‘autobiography.’” In her new vision of these genres, Tardos reveals the Self to be plural, permeated and unfamiliar. “It should really be called selves. There are so many of us assembled/here,” she writes in the poem “Letting Go.”

In April 2008, Tardos read from I Am You for the Ashbery Poetry Series at Bard College and the Segue Series at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York. In May, UbuWeb—the online archive for the arts—created a page for Tardos with recordings of her poetry and performance works. Tardos’s work is also being hosted online by the University of Pennsylvania’s collection of poetry recordings, PennSound. In July, Tardos taught, lectured and read from I Am You at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University.

Thing of Beauty: New and Selected Works by Jackson Mac Low, edited by Tardos, released earlier this year by the University of California Press, provides a general outline of Mac Low’s poetic oeuvre and includes many previously unpublished texts. Tardos’s editorial work has been highly lauded, with Publishers Weekly stating that Thing of Beauty “does the best job to date in providing a window into Mac Low’s unique perspective on what constitutes poetic beauty.” For collecting many of Mac Low’s artworks, Tardos received a grant from the Judith Rothschild Foundation.

The Dik-dik’s Solitude: New & Selected Works (Granary Books, 2003) gives an overview of Tardos’s poetic career, collecting new poems and excerpts from her three previous books, as well as essays, images and musical compositions. Upon its release, Publishers Weekly labeled the book “a virtual encyclopedia of artistic techniques.” In 2003, Belladonna Books released a chapbook by Tardos, entitled A Noisy Nightingale Understands the Tiger’s Camouflage Totally.

Tardos’s third book of poetry, Uxudo (O Books / Tuumba Press, 1999), presents her writing at its most plurilingual and neologistic, along with digitally modified video stills and translations. Poet Ron Silliman called the work “a gift from technology, [an] illuminated manuscript […] interactive in a sense that Blake would have understood.”

Tardos has participated in many international poetry festivals, such as the Festival Roaratorio France-Amerique, Geneva (2005); Festival La Bâtie, Geneva (2000); WORD(S)OUND, Miami (1993); Milanopoesia, Milan (1989); Zwischentöne, Cologne (1989); John Cage Festival-Symposium, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT (1988 and 1989); St. Georg Church, Cologne (1985); the text-ljud Festival, Stockholm (1984); The London Musicians Collective, London (1984); and Scene Wien, Vienna (1983). She contributed to the conference Poetry & Pedagogy: the Challenge of the Contemporary, at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (1999).

Her multilingual performance work Among Men was premiered by the Orchestra of the S.E.M. Ensemble in 1994 in New York, and subsequently recorded by the WDR (West German Radio), where the piece was a finalist in the 1996 Acoustica International contest. Among Men consists of 17 music scores and two reader’s scores, with text based on encyclopedia entries for female artists and the first names of the men whose entries fall between theirs. The scores utilize collaged sound and visual elements from female musicians and artists, with variation allowed for in performance according to the visibility of a note on the score. Among Men was also performed live at Roulette, New York (1996); the Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna (1994); and the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, Boulder, CO (1994).

Tardos’s numerous readings and performances, often with Jackson Mac Low, include Writers Live! at Pratt Institute (2001); A Memorial Intermedia Evening of Works by Dick Higgins, at the Whitney Museum in New York (1999); Days of Silence, a John Cage symposium, Warsaw (1993); Cagemusicircus, Symphony Space, New York (1992); Center for the Fine Arts, Knox College, Galesburg, IL (1987); Galleri Sct. Agnes, Roskilde, Denmark (1985); University of Houston, TX (1985); Studio Morra, Naples (1983); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1983); Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels (1982). Tardos collaborated with Mac Low on the composition and performance of First and Third Four-Language Word Events in Memoriam John Cage (Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1994) and Cellular Dialogue (SEOUL-NYMAX Festival / Anthology Film Archives / Biblio’s, New York, 1994).

In Tardos’s poetry of the 1980s, she pioneered a unique polylingual style and complemented her texts with photographs, video stills and computer graphics. Her early books Mayg-shem Fish (Potes & Poets Press, 1995) and Cat Licked the Garlic (Tsunami Editions, 1992) reflect her multilingual, multi-media approach to writing. She developed her poem “Ami Minden” into a video installation for the exhibit “Between Word and Image” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1993.

Tardos has displayed her visual text work in the FluxAttitudes show at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1992); at the Chicago Art Institute (1993); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1993); the Fluxus Pavillion of La Biennale di Venezia, Venice (1990); and the Palais des Beaux Arts, Bordeaux, where she installed her film Faces (1972). Her 1974 video of the dancer Simone Forti was featured in the 2000 Whitney Biennial.

Tardos’s five-monitor video installation Apple Eaters premiered at The Kitchen in New York in 1972. The tapes were restored and re-edited into a one-channel version by the Kitchen in 2003, and is being distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix.

Tardos received her education in film and the visual arts, attending the Vienna Film Academy from 1963-65, then the Art Students League of New York, from 1966-70, for which she received grants from the Ford Foundation for the years 1967-70.




I Am You, 200-page book of new poetry by Tardos; Cambridge, UK: Salt Publishing, 2008

Thing of Beauty: New and Selected Works, 460-page book by Jackson Mac Low (edited by Tardos) Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2008

The Dik-dik's Solitude: New & Selected Works, 350-page book of poetry by Tardos; New York, NY: Granary Books, 2003

A Noisy Nightingale Understands the Tiger's Camouflage Totally, chapbook by Tardos; New York, NY: Belladonna Books, 2003

Uxudo, 100-page book by Tardos of multilingual poems with digitally modified video stills; Berkeley, CA: O Books / Tuumba Press, 1999

Mayg-shem Fish, 60-page book by Tardos of multilingual poems with video stills; Elmwood, CT: Potes & Poets Press, 1995

Cat Licked the Garlic, 60-page book by Tardos of multilingual poems with video stills; Vancouver, B.C.: Tsunami Editions, 1992



Anthologie Polyphonix, book edited by Jean-Jacques Lebel; Paris: Centre Pompidou, Editions Léo Scheer, 2002

Everybody's Autonomy: Connective Reading and Collective Identity, book by Juliana Spahr; Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 2001

Performance Artists Talking in the Eighties, book by Linda M. Montano (Interview with Tardos and MacLow); Berkeley, CA: UC Press, 2001

Reft and Light: Poems of Ernst Jandl with Multiple Versions by American Poets, ed. Rosmarie Waldrop, Providence: Burning Deck, 2000

Über die Lehr- und Lehrbarkeit von Literatur, eds. Hintze and Travner (Essay by Tardos on the subject of teaching writing); Vienna: Passagen Verlag, 1993.

Fluxus-Virus 1962-1992 (Text and photo by Tardos); Cologne: Galerie Schüppenhauer, 1992

The Fast, by Hannah Weiner (Cover by Tardos); New York: United Artists, 1992

Pieces o' Six, by Jackson Mac Low (Computer graphics and illustrations by Tardos); Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1992

Twenties, by Jackson Mac Low (Cover by Tardos); Roof Books: New York, 1991

Ubi Fluxus Ibi Motus (ed. Gino di Maggio, La Biennale di Venezia, 1990, Text, painting and photograph by Tardos); Milan: Fondazione Mudima, Gabriele Mazzotta, 1990

French Sonnets, by Jackson Mac Low (Computer graphics by Tardos ); Milwaukee: Membrane Press, 1989

Words nd Ends from Ez, by Jackson Mac Low (Cover art and design by Tardos ); Bolinas, California: Avenue B, 1989

The Search for Accidental Significance: For Brian Buczak (ed. Geoffrey Hendricks, Computer graphics by Tardos ); New York: Money for Food Press, 1987

Sonoritá Prospettiche (ed. Franco Masotti, Roberto Taroni, paintings by Tardos ); Rimini: Commune di Rimini, 1982

Collective Consciousness: Art Performances in the Seventies (ed. Jean Dupuy); New York: Performing Arts Journal Publications, 1980

Video Art: An Anthology (eds. Ira Schneider and Beryl Korot , poem and photo by Tardos); New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976



The Poetry Project Newsletter, February/March 2008

Model Homes #1, 2007

Conjunctions #48, Spring 2007, Faces of Desire

Aufgabe #5, Fall 2005

Call #3, 2005

Pom2 #4, 2003

Chase Park #4, 2003

Mantis #3, 2003, Poetry and Performance [with CD]

Rattapallax #8, 2002, Artificial Intelligence Poetry

Performance Research, June 2002

Pom 2 #2, 2002

Conjunctions #35, 2000, American Poetry: States of the Art

Washington Square #10, 2000

Conjunctions #30, 1998, Paper Airplane

Chain, #5, 1998, Different Languages

The Germ #2, 1998

The Little Magazine, 1994, and 1995

Felix, 1993

Central Park, Spring 1992

Avec, Spring 1992

Conjunctions #16, 1991, The Music Issue

TEMBLOR #7, 1988

Small Press Magazine, 1987

North # 15, 1985, Fluxus: The Unpredictable Legend

Ear Magazine, 1981



Music by Anne Tardos and Jackson Mac Low, Recorded Live at Roulette, New York, 18 November 1999; Tarmac Books and Music, 2007

Doings: Assorted Performance Pieces 1955-2002, by Anne Tardos and Jackson Mac Low; Granary Books, 2006

Open Secrets, by Anne Tardos and Jackson Mac Low; XI Records, 1993

A Chance Operation: The John Cage Tribute (2-CD anthology), by Anne Tardos and Jackson Mac Low; Koch International Classics, 1993

The Museum Inside the Telephone Network (2-CD anthology), by Anne Tardos and Jackson Mac Low; InterCommunication, 1991, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone 1991