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Title: The blown definitions : towards a poetics of the multi-vocal poetic radio play
Author: Potts, Kristina
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 5462
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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The introduction of radio broadcasting in the early twentieth century, at a time of rapid development in global communications and travel technologies, prompted a radical re-imagining of the poet - and poetry's - role in this new public, communal space. This thesis seeks to explore and define, critically and creatively, the poetics of the multi-vocal poetic radio play, a sub-genre fundamentally shaped by this reconfiguration. The thesis examines the development, form, and functioning of the multi-vocal poetic radio play which, I argue, is a sub-genre distinct from both the prose radio play and single-voice works of radio poetry. This thesis proposes that the multi-vocal poetic radio play is a reworking of western oral poetry traditions - originating in the oral heroic epic as authoritative, mnemonic, pre-literate repository of collective cultural memory - in the context of the twentieth and twenty-first century's increasingly globalised, pluralistic and documentary modes of representation. Through the simultaneous mechanical reproduction of multiple poetic voices - through the troubling and breaking down of boundaries regarding presence and absence, intimacy and distance, subjectivity, mortality, time, and space - the multi-vocal poetic radio play tends to evoke and refer to dialogic and polyphonic traditions grounded in the liminality of communal ritual and festival. My original multi-vocal poetic radio play script The Blown Definitions imagines a long-distance, elegiac dialogue between a man whose indigenous culture and land is disappearing and his second-generation English-speaking granddaughter. The play examines the potentials of the poetic radio voice, utilising telephone conversations, electronic dictionary definitions, and (fictional) radio broadcasts. The Blown Definitions, and the multi-vocal poetic radio play more generally, through its form and function, exposes and interrogates poetry's functioning in relation to social dynamics - the "social moorings" of the poetic utterance - underlining poetry's capacity to celebrate, critique and reconfigure the imagined communities that shape it.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: poetry ; multi-vocal poetry ; radio poetry ; epic poetry ; globalisation ; media studies