Damn everything but the circus: a lot of things put together New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970

“E.E. Cummings was a lifelong inspiration for Kent (…) Kent shared many traits with the modernist poet: a predilection for formal experimentation, a love of language and words, and a light-hearted, warm approach that did not exclude serious topics (…) The phrase ‘damn everything but the circus’ from Cummings’s i-six nonlectures given as the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard University in 1952-53, was especially generative for Kent, who used it in multiple print series. In 1968, she set the words across four prints as a prelude to a series of twenty-six prints depicting the alphabet (…) The alphabet prints channel a nineteenth-century poster aesthetic, with woodblock-style figures and a P.T. Barnum typeface (…) Although she rarely worked with nineteenth-century sources, she demonstrates here her usual preference for materials from popular culture –advertisements and other promotional announcements- rather than from the fine arts. In 1970, she published the alphabet prints and the four prints that carry Cummings’s statement in a book titled Damn everything but the circus: a lot of things put together.

Susan Dackerman, ed. Corita Kent and the language of Pop. Cambridge: Harvard Art Museums; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015 (p. 302)