Cobbing was a vital cornerstone of the literary counterculture in Britain and a pioneering and fearless publisher through the Writer’s Forum Press, as well as being a concrete, sound and visual poet. In his Obituary in the Guardian in 2002 his later work is described by Robert Sheppard in the following way:
As his texts became progressively freer, any mark - whether letter-shape, lip imprint, or inkblot - was readable as a sign on the page. Shape and texture suggested vocalisation and sound to Cobbing and the performers he increasingly worked with during the 1970s, such as musicians Paul Burwell and David Toop, and poets Paula Claire and Bill Griffiths.
Moaning, sighing, shouting, even sneezing, became as common as words or phonetics. In recent years, new collaborators became crucial to his work: the anarchic thrash noise ensemble of Bird Yak (Hugh Metcalfe on guitar and amplified gas mask, veteran improviser Lol Coxhill on saxophone, and his wife Jennifer, dancing), or the extraordinary series of 300 booklets written with Lawrence Upton, Domestic Ambient Noise, across which the two writers processed and re-arranged the other's work.