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Title: Listening lyrics : an exploration of poetry by Geraldine Monk, Bhanu Kapil, Denise Riley and W.S. Graham
Author: Kemp, Linda
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 027X
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2019
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The aim of this creative–critical thesis is to attend to listening in lyric poetry. By developing close readings of poems by Geraldine Monk, Bhanu Kapil, Denise Riley and W.S. Graham I argue that lyric is a listening device. In Chapter One the lyric is read in relation to trauma in Geraldine Monk's poetry, drawing on Ann Cvetkovich (2003) to read Monk as a poet whose work speaks of the affects and effects of abuse and trauma. Chapter Two focuses on difficulties between language and healing in Bhanu Kapil's Schizophrene, arguing that a fragmentary poetics carries out reparative work, 'touching' the harms of trauma without reifying experience through representation or narration. Barthes' Mourning Diary is used to read the fragment in relation to loss and grief. Chapter Three reads Denise Riley's 'Listening for lost people' in relation to listening and loss. Drawing on Barthes' The Pleasure of the Text to contend that reading is a process of listening to loss, Michelle Boulous Walker's (2017) advocacy for attentive listening provides a way to consider the meaning-making of language and Jean-Luc Nancy's Listening (2007) provides a way to think about sound, loss and subjectivity. Chapter Four reads W.S. Graham's 'The Dark Dialogues' drawing on Barthes' essay 'Listening' to parse ways the poem stages a series of listening acts to render the processes of lyric composition and belonging. The thesis concludes that Geraldine Monk, Bhanu Kapil, Denise Riley and W.S. Graham stage distinct acts of listening within their poetics. Lyric is associated with articulation, expression and subjectivity, associations which have led to a tendency of critical attention to focus on the speaking voice of the lyric. In emphasising the role of listening this thesis advocates investing critical attention to the lyric as listening device, thereby contributing to the rebalance of the emphasis on speaking. The critical component of the thesis is followed by a portfolio of creative work. The portfolio comprises three pieces: Lease Prise Redux, speaking towards and excerpts from Stitch. Lease Prise Redux is a sequence of sixty-four sonnets, speaking towards is a collection of sound fragments, and the excerpts from Stitch are taken from a long sequence poem. The works in the creative portfolio embody, enact and critically engage with the themes of listening in relation to violence and harm, utilising the sequence form as the principle heuristic and framing device for listening.
Supervisor: Ladkin, Sam ; Piette, Adam Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available