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Who Grants Poetic Licence? Performance Poetry betweeen Social Critique, Political Activism, and the Market

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


The performance of poetry is often conceptualized as a poetic form that questions or sidesteps poetic conventions, and that stands in conflict with or opposition to the poetic tradition and literary criticism. How or why performance poetry finds itself in this contestatory space, often remains vague. In order to get a clear analytical understanding of the relationship between performance poetry, the poetic tradition, literary theory and the academy, I propose to appropriate and redefine the term 'poetic licence' as an analytical concept. The use of this concept permits a meaningful analysis of how poetic traditions as different as orality, countercultural poetry, avant-garde poetry and slam interact in performance poetry, and how they situate themselves towards the poetic tradition and the theory of poetry.


TitleWho Grants Poetic Licence?
Date2/03/11 → …