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Cobbing, Bob (1920-2002)

The British Library has extensive collections relating to the poet, performer and publisher Bob Cobbing (1920 - 2002). These include books, magazines, and a large number of recordings by Cobbing. We also have one of the largest collections of books by the press that Cobbing founded, Writers Forum.

Publications can be located in Explore the British Library and recordings on the Sound Archive's Cadensa Catalogue. A list of Writers Forum publications held by the Library is given in the PDF section on the right of this page.  The Library also holds Bob Cobbing's magazine AND (shelfmark: ZA.9.b.2079).  The special issue no. 6 (1973) bears the title WF100 and is catalogued separately (shelfmark: YA.1999.b.1703).

The Library has acquired the personal archive of Bob Cobbing. Please note that this is currently uncatalogued: enquiries should be directed to the Department of Manuscripts.


Further References
A Bob Cobbing timeline


Further References 

Bob Cobbing, Bob Jubile: Selected Texts of Bob Cobbing, 1944-1990 (London: New River Project, 1990). Selected by Bob Cobbing and Jennifer Pyke. Shelfmark: YK.1992.a.3973

Bob Cobbing, Verbi, Visi, Voco: Selected Poems, 1942-2001 (Wien: Edition Selene, 2003). [Introduced by Michael Lentz]. Shelfmark: EMD.2005.b.24

Bob Cobbing and Bill Griffiths (eds.), Verbi Visi Voco (Writers Forum 1992), Shelfmark: YK.1994.b.11987

British Library Curator's Choice : 10 Modern Poetry Pamphlets Richard Price, Head of Modern British Collections, chooses Bob Cobbing as one of the classic poets in the Library

English Poetry Center, Buffalo: Bob Cobbing Includes sound recordings by Cobbing

Ulli Freer, "Your Actual Music" in Playback: The Bulletin of the British Library Sound Archive, 34 (Winter 2005). An appreciation of Cobbing by the contemporary poet. Please see PDF file on the right.

Dom Sylvester Houedard, [brief account of Cobbing] in Extra Verse 17 (1966), with texts by Cobbing, Shelfmark: PP.5126.a

Lollipop archive "Some Tributes to Bob Cobbing"


Penn Sound Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing: Bob Cobbing Tributes, Discussion of, and Recordings by Cobbing

Robert Sheppard, "Bob Cobbing: Sightings and Soundings", in Jacket 9

UbuWeb: Statements by Bob Cobbing

Wikipedia: Bob Cobbing


A Bob Cobbing timeline 


30th July 1920 Born in Enfield, Middlesex

1942 Produces first experimental poems with typewriter and office duplicator



1951 Hendon Experimental Art Club founded

1954 Club is renamed Hendon Group of Painters and Sculptors; helps found workshops for various kinds of artists

1957 Hendon Group is renamed Group H.

1959 Writers Forum founded?


Manager of Better Books, Charing Cross Rd
Various sound poetry experiments / collaborations

1965 Sound Poems (An ABC in Sound) published. Writers Forum also publish Ernst Jandl's Sprechgedichte LP

1966 Association of Little Presses formed, at intervention by Cobbing and Stuart Montgomery (of Fulcrum Press)


Significant involvement in Poetry Society during Mottram editorship of Poetry Review

1971 Konkrete Canticle (band) formed. Includes Cobbing, Paula Claire and others.


Processual books

1984 Publishes Maggie O'Sullivan's An Incomplete Natural History

1987 Publishes Bill Griffiths's The Bournemouth


1992 Edits, with Bill Griffiths, assisted by Jennifer Pyke, Verbi visi voco, anthology of Writers Forum poems

1994 Domestic Ambient Noise series begun, a collaboration with Lawrence Upton, eventually several hundred volumes in number


2000 Signwriting and Members Only

29th September 2002 Bob Cobbing dies