'Making Connections':The Work of the Local Poet
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Copyright with Eleanor Rees. Contact Liverpool University Press for rights.
Reason for embargo
Publication of poems in collection and forthcoming articles.
This thesis interrogates the question ‘how does a local poet achieve connections in a context defined by difference?’ The creative practice section offers a collection of poetry written within given contexts, from specific places and emerging out of collaboration, commission and participative practice. Each project offers the difference anticipated by the research question. Therefore the context from which the poem emerged is made explicit to further support the argument. A local poet achieves connections in a context constituted by difference by using her imaginative capacities to produce virtual and emergent, yet real, material space. In Chapter One I define the creative process as that of ‘Local Poetics’ via a discussion of Heaney’s use of the term local poet and New-Materialist thought. I offer close readings of poems by Norman Nicholson, Adrian Henri and Barry MacSweeney to describe how the poem is a ‘local solution to a local problem’ and I present the history of participatory writing in Liverpool in relation to my own experience to support this idea. Chapter Two offers ‘case studies’ of my creative writing process to argue for ‘local poem as more than words’. The local poem emerges from multiple influences not all of them linguistic. In Chapter Three I extend this idea to consider how a local poet writes with their context not about it making poetry with the agency and affordances of materials. I conclude that connections are achieved by the local poet when multiple material trajectories acting on the sensate body become imaginative thought. In the process those material energies are transformed. Through intimate connection with an audience or reader the material process continues. I describe this activity as the work of the local poet.
Blood Child (Pavilion Poetry/Liverpool University Press, 2015)
PhD in English