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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Robert Sheppard: The Meaning of Form its various blurbs

I have not mentioned this critical book for a while on this blog, partly because I have been busy with the admin behind it, gathering permissions from authors and publishers, which has not been easy. But I have just delivered the final text (to Palgrave, US) and it seems appropriate to record that fact and to offer a reminder of its forthcomingness. (This also reminds me of the paratexts I will need to do, the index, for example. Those who have never written an academic book would be quite surprised how much work the author has to do, permissions to pay, etc. This is one reason why I hope this will be my last purely academic book on poetry.) 

I have just tried to describe the project in 50 words and then in 150 and then in keywords, and then myself in 50. Here they are:

This study treats the life of form in contemporary innovative poetries through both a summary introduction to contemporary theories of form, and through detailed readings of leading North American and British innovative poets, which show their forms to be a matter of both authorial design and readerly engagement.  

This study engages questions relating to the life of form in contemporary innovative poetries through both an introduction to the latest theories of form that will be of interest to anyone concerned with reading for form, and which focusses upon form as an engaged action rather than metrical frame or pattern, and with reference to the work of Susan Wolfson and Derek Attridge. Close readings of leading North American and British innovative poets, from Rosmarie Waldrop to Caroline Bergvall, Sean Bonney to Barry MacSweeney, Veronica Forrest-Thomson to Kenneth Goldsmith, Allen Fisher to Geraldine Monk, emphasise their forms to be a matter of authorial design and readerly engagement. They cover form on the page, form in performance, and form in physical book-making. The book ends with a consideration of what has been implicit throughout: the politically critical function of formal innovation, mediated through the theories of Adorno, Rancière and others.

keywords: form; innovation; formal innovation; linguistically innovative poetry; political form.

Robert Sheppard is a poet-critic and Professor of Poetry and Poetics at Edge Hill University, UK. His The Poetry of Saying (LUP) was published in 2005, and he has written a monograph on Iain Sinclair and edited an essay collection on Lee Harwood. His Selected Poems is published by Shearsman.

A guide or hub-post, to the project, with links to some of its working notes and digressions and outtakes, may be accessed here.



For those who can buy the book, or order it for libraries, here are the places