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Monday, September 01, 2014

Robert Sheppard: Poetics and the Manifesto: On Pierre Joris and Adrian Clarke


In the left corner, Pierre Joris; in the right corner Adrian Clarke

My ‘Poetics and the manifesto: On Pierre Joris and Adrian Clarke’ has just been published by Jacket 2. It begins with one of my pleas for writerly speculative poetics. ‘The writings writers write about writing have been curiously misread.’ I continue:Battling the impossibility of being their own readers, writers are drawn to fuzzy logic when it comes to thinking and externalizing their thinking about the purpose, activity, outcomes, and future of writing that results in text that can be unstable in a variety of ways, and is sometimes difficult to read. However, there is enough commonality among these writings to group them as members of a discourse, one called ‘poetics,’ and a prospective study of poetics is most revealingly conducted using examples that orient themselves in form, towards form, and that reveal themselves as hybrid and playful, fragmented or highly formal.’
Then I contrast the nomad poetics of Pierre Joris with its contestation by Adrian Clarke. It ends in an odd place: arguing that we cannot argue over poetics in this discursive way. I was tempted to adopt I.A. Richards’ term ‘pseudo-statement’ to describe the truth-claims of poetics, but opt for a loose hands-off version of Lyotard’s ‘differend’. And there’s lots of nomadic and anti-nomadic poetics on the way!


Read the piece here. And the Poetry Foundation's account of the piece here.  

Read 'Muzzle' by Adrian Clarke here. It seems currently to be getting a lot of hits.And his ascerbic take on the state of British poetry for Pages may be read here.