Saturday, October 01, 2016

Robert Sheppard: The Meaning of Form Geraldine Monk

Chapter 11: Geraldine Monk’s Poetics and Performance: Catching Form in the Act

Monk’s poetics piece, Insubstantial Thoughts on the Transubstantiation of the Text, traces the stages of performative forming of a poetic text, from silent, solitary reading, through the conventional poetry reading, to performance with others (including musicians) in installation space. This is read both as a poetics piece and as a formal demonstration of so-called ‘performance writing’. Monk’s recorded work with composer Martin Archer is read in an immersive account of the forming experience of listening to it. The author admits to the dangers of subjective response, but nevertheless feels that this approach is necessary to determine how a new ‘text’ (of all the performed elements) is formed.  

My rambling readings of Monk may be accessed here. The chapter in the book is more concise account of both Monk's poetics and my account of forming her work in performance as I listened.

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