Poetry & Listening

BookPoetry & Listening

Poetry & Listening

The Noise of Lyric

Poetry &..., 10


November 4th, 2020



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Listening has always mattered in poetry, but how does poetry change when listening has been transformed? In Poetry & Listening: The Noise of Lyric, the field of sound studies, which has revolutionised research in contemporary music, is brought into dialogue with new lyric criticism. Examining poetry as mediated by performance, technology and translation, this book discovers how contemporary poetry has been re-energised by the influence of recorded sound and influenced by the creative methods that emerged with it. It offers an exploration of contemporary poetry’s acoustic contexts, moving beyond traditional analysis of poetic form to consider the social, political and ecological dimensions of a poem's sounds and silences. Through lucid engagement with a range of richly innovative English-language poetry from the UK and USA, it argues for the centrality of listening to a form of composition in which language not only represents sonic experience but is part of it. With reference to Jean-Luc Nancy’s distinction between hearing and listening, alongside other key theorists of sound and noise, it shows how poetry offers insights into sensory perception, and how it charts acoustic relationships between language and the environment.


Author Information

Zoë Skoulding is Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at Bangor University.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Introduction: Listening to Lyric and Noise9
1 Song: Denise Riley’s Lyric and Rock Echoes30
2 Noise: Sean Bonney’s Resistance51
3 Acousmatics: Sounded/Silent Text in Caroline Bergvall’s Drift72
4 Synaesthesia: Tuning in to Carol Watts and Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge88
5 Echo: Claudia Rankine and Vahni Capildeo106
6 Improvisation: Tom Raworth’s Intuition126
7 Performance: Listening Bodies142
8 Resounding: Peter Hughes, Jeff Hilson and Tim Atkins167