CFP: [Poetry] Performing Poetry: Edited Volume

full name / name of organization: 
Cornelia Graebner
contact email:

Call for Contributions for "Performing Poetry", edited volume on
Performance Poetry

In recent years the performance of poetry has become an increasingly
popular art form in different countries and cultural environments. The
development of the art form is unusual: Performance poetry was developed
outside of the traditional literary circuits and as an alternative to
institutionalized North-Western poetry. Thus, it was – and in some cases,
still is – associated with marginalized groups and dissident opinions and
practices. However, in recent years performance poetry has developed its
own literary circuit, and some of the characteristics that in earlier
years marked the art form as dissident have undergone a process of
commodification and commercialization that has yet to be responded to by
poets, organizers, and scholars.

Indeed, performance poetry has received little scholarly attention. On
the conceptual level it has usually been discussed under the umbrella of
beat poetry or language poetry. With Performing Poetry, to be published
in the series Thamyris/Intersecting (Rodopi, Amsterdam) in 2010, and
edited by Arturo Casas from the University of Santiago de Compostela and
Cornelia Gräbner from Lancaster University, we will present a volume of
articles that analyse performance poetry as a poetic genre in its own
right and in an international and intercultural context.

Articles should analyse any aspect of the poetry performance or of the
genre of performance poetry, its practice, conditions of production and
distribution, contextual elements such as music, other sounds, visual
elements, theatrical devices, the poet’s voice, etc., and poetics.
Articles should engage one or several of the following concepts:

• Place
The importance of place is manifested in a variety of ways in the poetry
performance. For one, the performance of poetry establishes a link to the
locus of enunciation of the poem, i.e. the venue. The conditions of the
venue contribute to the finished poem and have to be analysed as elements
of it. More recently, sound and video recording invite a critical
reflection on this attachment to place.
Place is also of particular importance for the analysis of performance
poetry because this genre was frequently developed in diasporic contexts,
thus problematizing notions of place and belonging. Also, in some cases
performance poetry is associated with left-wing nationalisms and with
liberation movements. Thus, analyses of performance poetry have the
potential to bring out a tension and sometimes, a connection between
diaspora and nationalism.
• Sexuality and Gender
Performing Poetry invites contributions on any aspect of sexuality and
gender as they are addressed and performed in poetry performances. So
far, few scholarly texts on performance poetry have addressed issues of
gender and sexuality and Performing Poetry seeks to fill this gap in the
academic analysis of performance poetry. We are particularly interested
in the public figure of women poets and in analyses of specific genres,
such as domestic dub poetry.
• Race
Performance poetry has been developed largely in diasporic contexts.
Hence, race has always been an important issue, not only in terms of the
race of the performers, but also in terms of the address of racial
discrimination and racist violence. In contrast to Black cultural
identity, whiteness has almost not been addressed in the analysis of
performed poetry, even though the majority of non-white poetry performers
should make it clear that whiteness, too, signifies. Performing Poetry
invites contributions that address “race” as a topic of the poetry
performance and as integral to the poetry performance.

Articles must be made available to the editors in the English language.
Articles may address any variety of performance poetry, but we
particularly invite contributions that focus on performance poetry in
languages other than English. Please send your proposal of 250 words by
15th November 2008 to the following email-addresses: and You will be notified by
15th December whether you proposal has been accepted. The final version
of the article, which must not exceed 7500 words, must be submitted by
15th March 2009.

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Received on Mon Jun 02 2008 - 10:35:56 EDT

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